Spring 2020 issue
Est. Reading: 2 minutes

Mental Health Transformation

THE NHS is constantly changing and evolving as we learn more about what works, new technology, medicine, procedures, feedback from patients, improved data about effectiveness of treatments, research, and better approaches. For example, major surgical procedures carried out 20 years ago may now have been superseded by keyhole surgery.

Care Programme Approach

The same is true of mental health care. In 1996, the Care Programme Approach was the key way mental health care was delivered in England. It set out the process for assessing need, having a written care plan for the individual, a risk assessment, a care coordinator and regular reviews. Almost 25 years later, it’s good to ask ourselves if this is still the right approach. Are there better ways to treat and support people, and does the CPA enable individuals reach their goals and have the type of lives they want?

A New Approach to Mental Healthcare

Service users want the same things that we all want: good physical health, a job, money to live, a social life, someone to love and a safe home but the reality is that there is inequality in these areas for people with mental health needs. So 25 years later, it seems we need to take a new approach, one which focuses on helping individuals to access support that will help them to improve their overall quality of life and to achieve the things that matter most to them.

Pioneering New Ideas

One size will not fit all so ELFT staff are joining up with GPs, pharmacists, local authorities and voluntary sector organisations to look at joining forces to deliver joined up care and support. By focusing on what matters to people and considering people’s needs in a holistic way, we will be testing a new approach to care planning that goes beyond mental health and medication to encompass things like physical health, social and community connections, housing, employment and finances.

So work is underway to put in the foundations for a new approach, trial it and test it and if it works well, trial it with a larger number of people. These are exciting times!

Just the Beginning

Primary care networks have been established in all areas, made up of groups of GP practices alongside other health and care services, delivering support to populations of 30,000 – 50,000 people. NHS England’s Long Term Plan and Community Mental Health Framework for Adults and Older Adults supports this localised approach and want mental health services to be included from the very beginning.

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