Views sought on new mental health hubs

Published on 06 October 2016

PROPOSALS which aim to give people across Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland equal access to high quality mental health services are being put forward for consultation.  

Views are being sought on proposals to create local mental health hubs where people could get advice on a range of council and health services, as well as support with mental health issues.

The services could be based in buildings that are already well-used by local people. They would be jointly funded by the city, county and Rutland councils, and the three local Clinical Commissioning Group (CCGs) – Leicester City CCG, West LeicestershireCCG and East Leicestershire and Rutland CCG.

Cllr Rory Palmer, Leicester’s deputy city mayor and chair of the Leicester health and wellbeing board said: “Getting help with mental health issues should be as straightforward as going to the supermarket, but often people don’t know where to start.

“If councils and health services can pool their funding and resources and work together more effectively, we should be able to provide the support people need in places they know within their local community.

“There is also much more we can do to give people the information and control they need to stay well, instead of putting our main focus on treating ill-health - and that is a key part of these proposals.”

Currently the three councils and the CCGs all plan and pay separately for mental health services, which are provided by organisations in their areas. 

The total spend on services commissioned from these organisations is around £1.5 million each year. At present, there is no co-ordination of these services across the city and counties, with some working with each other, some doing the same things, and in some areas there are no services available at all.

These services are in addition to the statutory mental health services provided by health and social care. In Leicester, the city council is protecting its spend on public health services that support emotional well-being, in spite of national cuts being made to its public health budget.

?The proposal out for consultation is for one organisation to be responsible for overseeing a range of services in a local area – or hub – based on the needs of local people. The services co-ordinated by the hub would be located in existing community locations across the area that are open to everyone.

The councils and CCGs have worked together to develop the proposals based on views shared with them by patients and the public about issues they currently face in getting access to services.

They have also consulted the organisations which are currently contracted to provide the services available. Dr Pete Cannon of West Leicestershire Clinical Commissioning Group helped to develop the proposals. He said: “If you are experiencing mental health illness, or caring for someone who is, then you need a number of services to help with recovery and staying well. At the moment, what’s on offer depends entirely on where you live and what voluntary sector providers in your area are able to offer.

“The changes we are proposing would mean a range of co-ordinated high quality services would be provided in a number of locations across Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland, giving people better services, closer to home.

??"I would encourage people to look at our proposals and let us know their views. We will be listening carefully to what people have to say before making any final decisions.”

The consultation will run until December 4, 2016. People can read more about the proposals and share their views online at www.leicester.gov.uk/haveyoursay

?General comments and enquiries about this consultation, and requests for paper copies of the questionnaire can be made by calling 0116 305 0232 or emailing ascengage@leics.gov.uk