Lincolnshire’s approach to supporting people with serious mental illness will be bolstered over the next two years, thanks to it being one of 12 areas across the country to benefit from significant national funding.
The county is expected to receive around £6 million over the next two years and will be an ‘early implementer’ site for testing new models of care for young, working age and older adults who have moderate to severe, long term mental health problems.
As well as radically redesigning how community mental health services operate and integrating dedicated mental health workers within local primary care and neighbourhood teams, the money will also help develop new dedicated support for people with a personality disorder, as well as those transitioning from mental health rehabilitation services back into the community.
Lincolnshire’s partnership approach was key to securing the additional funding, and involved health, social care, as well as third sector organisations. This joined up approach is seen as vital in delivering the ambitious programme of work, which will involve all agencies working together to deliver the right care, at the right time, as close to home as possible.
“We are thrilled to have been awarded this funding and it will be pivotal in helping us in Lincolnshire to build on the services we offer through becoming a pioneer in the important transformation of mental health services, particularly in the community. Working with our partners across the county and region will allow us to deliver outstanding mental health care for people with moderate to severe mental illness, so they can live well in their communities.” explains Brendan Hayes, Chief Executive of Lincolnshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust (LPFT).
As with LPFT, Lincolnshire County Council’s Adult Social Care team was well placed to play a crucial role in securing the funding for the county.
Deputy Leader, Coun Patricia Bradwell said: "We're pleased that along with health partners we've secured this funding for Lincolnshire. It will be key to achieving our shared aspiration of mental health service transformation. In particular we welcome the additional resources that will be invested in services in the community. These services will help people before they get to crisis point and therefore prevent the need for more intensive care like mental health hospital care. We also very much welcome the additional investment in the Managed Care Network, an existing initiative funded by the county council and delivered via LPFT that supports community based initiatives which help people recover following times of mental illness as well as helping people maintain their mental health and wellbeing."
The NHS Long Term Plan, published in January 2019, made a commitment to transforming mental health services so that people with severe mental illness are able to access better care, closer to home.
“This is the crux of what the funding is for and, as part of testing new models of care for young, working age and older adults, we will be working hard with our partners to develop new integrated models of primary and community mental health care,” adds Dr Dave Baker, GP and chairman of South West Lincolnshire Clinical Commissioning Group. “Nationally this will mean that 370,000 adults and older adults every year will have greater choice and control over their care, and be supported to live well in their communities, and I think that is something we should all be proud of.
“Lincolnshire’s share of the funding, which nationally is around £70 million, will allow us to be really ambitious in how we approach community mental health over the next two years. As an early implementer site we will also look to improve access for people who need care by testing four week waiting times, and develop new services for people who have specific or additional needs, all of which is fantastic news for Lincolnshire.”