Herefordshire and Worcestershire are one of only 12 areas across the country that will benefit from significant additional funding for community mental health as part of the implementation of the NHS Long Term Plan.
Announced nationally on Sunday 29 September, the Herefordshire and Worcestershire Sustainability and Transformation Partnership (STP) will share £70 million with 11 other ‘early implementer’ sites across England that will be used to test new models of care for young, working age and older adults over the next two years. This will have a powerful and positive impact on patients across the two regions.
The NHS Long Term Plan, published in January this year, made a commitment to transforming mental health services so that people with severe mental illnesses (SMI) are able to access better care, closer to home.
More specifically, the NHS Mental Health Implementation Plan 2019/20-2023/24 sets out how NHS England and NHS Improvement will work with local systems to develop new integrated models of primary and community mental health care, which will mean that at least 370,000 adults and older adults per year nationally will have greater choice and control over their care, and be supported to live well in their communities.
In addition, the 12 sites developing new models will also improve timely access for people who need care by testing four week waiting times in line with the Clinically-led Review of NHS Access Standards.
Sarah Dugan, Chief Executive of Worcestershire Health and Care NHS Trust said: “I am delighted that we have been successful in securing this national funding for Herefordshire and Worcestershire for the next two years to enable us to be an early implementer for this important transformation.
“We are committed to working in partnership with our Primary Care Networks to develop and deliver a new model of outstanding mental health care in our community so that people with moderate to severe mental illness will be supported to live well in their communities, with access to better care, closer to home.”
Simon Trickett, Accountable Officer of the Herefordshire and Worcestershire NHS Clinical Commissioning Groups said: “Our successful bid will enable Herefordshire and Worcestershire to achieve a significant shift in how people with severe mental illnesses across the region can access the care they need closer to home. This is fantastic news for people across the two counties.
“Our share of the £70 million is expected to be just over £5 million over two years, allowing us to be seriously ambitious in our approach to community mental health during the two-year testing phase. We will also look to improve timely access for people who need care by testing four week waiting times.”
As one of the early implementer sites, Herefordshire and Worcestershire will also use the funding to maintain and develop new services for people who have specific or additional needs, including complex mental health difficulties and will test models that include adult eating or personality disorders.
Find out the latest updates on the project