Hertfordshire County Council (HCC) lead on the commissioning of mental health services across the council and the NHS in Hertfordshire. Jointly we work to deliver the Long-Term Plan priorities for mental health. Any questions, please do get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org
The main priorities that could lead to opportunities for service development in the next 9-12 months reflect the priorities in the NHS Long Term Plan. They are focussed on new ways of working and commissioning care services based on outcomes, rather than traditional time and task model. This aligns to the Councils ‘Connected Lives’ practice model.
The main priorities are:
Connected Lives for people using mental health services
HPFT are working to align social care delivery to the HCC model of Connected Lives. This model sets out standards, principles and approaches for staff delivering social care services on behalf of HCC, with an emphasis on prevention and enablement and achieving individual outcomes in line with the Care Act 2014. This model is built on a foundation of values and ethics set out in the professional standards of social workers and occupational therapists and it applies to all areas of social care practice, not just formal assessments. This will be a key element of the HPFT social care pathway for adults of working age with functional mental disorders.
In order to ensure that staff understand and can deliver the model, the Trust has developed a range of training materials, supporting documentation (including information technology solutions) and will also be holding engagement sessions with teams as the programme develops.
A Connected Lives pilot project will commence in Watford ACMHS in September 2021, with a view to rolling out the model across Hertfordshire throughout the coming year.
Developing a range of crisis alternative services
Such as crisis cafes and sanctuary spaces, to support people with a mental health crisis that does not involve a visit to A&E or a Section 136 suite. The existing crisis cafes in Watford and Bishops Stortford will continue to be embedded within 2021/22. The intention is to develop/enhance the range of crisis alternative services into 2022/23 so additional services will need to fit geographically with these, reducing travel times for people further away from these existing cafes.
Improving access to perinatal mental health services
Increasing the number of parents who receive support from both the statutory and voluntary sectors so that 8.6% of all new mothers can access support, around 1,300-1,500 each year. We will be looking for voluntary sector providers to support new mothers, working alongside statutory mental health services and to develop services to support the partners of women accessing perinatal mental health services, offering them assessment for their mental health and signposting to a range of community and statutory support, as required.
Enhancing opportunities for peer support and people with lived experience
Hertfordshire has a strong history of involving people with lived experience and peer support to deliver mental health services, as volunteers and paid employees within organisations. We are continually enhancing our peer support and lived experience workforce opportunities and we will be looking for voluntary sector organisations with established peer support and lived experience offers to work alongside statutory organisations to deliver mental health services across a range of programmes including community mental health transformation and crisis alternative services, and by participating in the mental health coproduction board in Adult Care Services.
Improving life for people with dementia
Hertfordshire has a strong system of partnerships across health, social care and voluntary sector to ensure people with dementia and their carers receive timely diagnosis and support services, and are able to continue enjoying an independent life wherever possible. We are piloting new models of assessment and pre-assessment support and will be tendering for community support services in coming years. This may also include training and education provision opportunities.
Improving physical health support for people with severe mental illness
People with severe mental illness (SMI) experience poorer physical health than the general population and die, on average, around 20 years earlier. The target is that 60% of adults with a severe mental illness receive support with their physical health each year, around 5,500 people. This will include a GP health check. We are also developing plans for those who may not engage with their GP or need support with improving their physical health once they have seen their GP. This may include voluntary sector proposals for ways to achieve this and so we may ask providers for e-proposals on how best to achieve this.
Winter preparedness plans for mental health services
Hertfordshire has ongoing programmes of winter pressures services procured from a range of statutory and non-statutory partner organisations, which support prevention of hospital admission, timely discharge, and ongoing support to help people stay well in the community. The planning typically takes place over spring and summer months for the following winter, although many of these services are year-round. The spend envelope for these services varies year to year, but is just over £1.4m in 2021-22.
Developing suicide prevention plans
NHS England have allocated local areas dedicated funding to develop local suicide prevention plans. Hertfordshire and West Essex Integrated Care System received around £300,000 this year and we expect this level of funding to continue up to end 2023/24. In partnership with Public Health, this year we identified, through a grants process, a range of small local organisations who were ready to carry out suicide prevention activities and provided them with a small amount of additional funding to mobilise these. We expect to be able to offer the same opportunities to small local organisations over the next two years.
This suicide prevention funding will be enhanced with a small pot of dedicated funding, around £64,000 from NHS England to be spent solely on suicide bereavement support for family, friends and professionals involved. We are planning to work with small local organisations to develop this offer.
Underlying all of these areas is an increased focus on inequalities and reaching parts of the community that traditionally have experienced poorer mental ill health, or poorer outcomes from services. We recognise that this may need different approaches to service delivery. For further information or support please contact email@example.com