Improving the mental health of Londoners

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London Health Programmes have published a series of documents from their Models of Care project that will be of particular interest to commissioners.

The mental health case for change explores the reasons behind why mental health services in London need to change and the evidence to support the recommendations. The mental health models of care set out approaches to improve services for people with long term mental health conditions and people experiencing a crisis.

In consultation with a wide range of interested parties, including service users,  carers, clinicians, social care and providers, new models of care have been developed to help ensure that people get help in the right place at the right time from the right people. Key to this is the coordinated care between all providers to ensure that the health and social needs of people with mental health conditions are met quickly and appropriately.

The models of care will seek to ensure that people across London receive support that is consistently of a high standard to promote their recovery. Traditional mental health services have not built themselves around the needs of people with mental health issues, and investment – although higher than other regions – is variable and does not guarantee better outcomes. The recommendations do not propose the implementation of new services; they seek to refocus existing services and strengthen the way different parts of the NHS currently work with each other and with the range of other agencies to help people.

Predominantly, services will encourage and support recovery and where possible, enable those who no longer require specialist help to manage their own mental health supported by primary care and other organisations. This will free up the capacity of mental health professionals to deliver help to those that need it most and help to build resilience in people with mental health conditions.

Caroline Taylor, chief executive of NHS North Central London and senior responsible officer for this project, said:

There are many examples of good practice across London, but the overall picture is very variable. Better communication between providers, and the use of a shared care approach, will improve the outcomes and experience of people with mental health conditions, their family, friends and carers as well. We hope that these models of care will help the NHS to deliver services which will improve the lives of Londoners affected by mental health conditions.

London Health Programmes – Models of Care project.

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Andre Tomlin

André Tomlin is an Information Scientist with 20 years experience working in evidence-based healthcare. He's worked in the NHS, for Oxford University and since 2002 as Managing Director of Minervation Ltd, a consultancy company who do clever digital stuff for charities, universities and the public sector. Most recently André has been the driving force behind the Mental Elf and the National Elf Service; an innovative digital platform that helps professionals keep up to date with simple, clear and engaging summaries of evidence-based research. André is a Trustee at the Centre for Mental Health and an Honorary Research Fellow at University College London Division of Psychiatry. He lives in Bristol, surrounded by dogs, elflings and lots of woodland!

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