Bringing together community, mental health and learning disability services
Across Hampshire and Isle of Wight, community and mental health services are provided by several organisations working closely together: Solent NHS Trust, Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust, Isle of Wight NHS Trust and Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust as well as a range of other NHS, local authority and voluntary and independent sector organisations. Ensuring that people in our communities have equal access to services and experience the same outcomes is our absolute priority. We know that over the coming years the demand for community and mental health services will increase. Our physical and mental health services are already responding to increasing need, both in terms of the number of people being referred for care and the complexity of issues they present with.
Against this backdrop, continuing to improve and transform service provision as well as having an even greater focus on integration between mental and physical health to support people in our communities to live healthier, longer lives is vitally important.
Independent review of community and mental health services in Hampshire and Isle of Wight
In January 2022, Hampshire and Isle of Wight Integrated Care System , commissioned an independent review of community and mental health services. The review sought to provide an overview of current and future needs of our local populations relating to community and mental health services. It was the first step in understanding the strengths and weaknesses of existing services, identifying any gaps and areas for improvement. The review looked carefully at the evidence and involved a range of clinicians, partners and stakeholders, as well as existing insight and feedback from people who use local community and mental health services.
Findings from the review confirmed inequity and variations in services and outcomes, revealing a compelling case for change across Hampshire and Isle of Wight to ensure future provision meets the needs of our population.
A full copy of the review, including all the recommendations, is available here.
The review resulted in five key recommendations:
1. A new Trust should be created for all community and mental health services across Hampshire and Isle of Wight, with local divisions to focus on our communities. All existing providers are being engaged and are coordinating this work with the ICB, and identifying a roadmap on developing this work further, the risks and mitigations required.
2. A review of community physical health beds should be undertaken, in a partnership between community, acute and primary care providers and local authorities. This is required to ensure the highest possible levels of patient safety, quality and experience are in place and that patients are receiving care in the most appropriate setting for their needs.
3. Develop a systemwide clinical strategy for community and mental health services that focuses on prevention, early intervention and patient centred care. This will be led by our community
and mental health providers with input from service users and key system partners, such as primary care and local authorities.
4. A clear, systemwide strategy for place and local leadership is needed. This will help to identify local integration across health and care and wider determinants such as education.
5. Establishing a more strategic approach to the funding for community and mental health services to address the current inequities. The approach should acknowledge financial complexities to date and reflect on the overall system performance in communities that have historically had higher levels of investment in community and mental health services, considering how the overall health spend available can be better utilised.
One of the review’s key recommendations is that a new organisation be formed, to bring together all NHS community and mental health services provided in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight, including services provided by Solent NHS Trust, Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust, Isle of Wight NHS Trust and Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust.
The case for change
The review makes the case that bringing together our services in this way would improve consistency of care between these services and organisations which are currently responsible for different parts of the care pathway. It would also improve equity of access to care. We believe that working even closer together is the right approach to take for the benefit of our patients, their families and communities. The rationale for the recommendation is aligned with and builds upon the steps we have already taken to work in partnership. It will further enable our people to work more closely together to best meet the needs of the people they support.
Local services will continue to be delivered close to home; the recommendation is about improving the way services work together.
The review was just the beginning of a detailed programme of work. As we move forward your views are crucial and we are working to progress engagement with people in our communities, service users, colleagues working in local community and mental health services and our partners.
Your views will contribute to the development of a strategic outline case which will describe in more detail the recommendation to create a new organisation alongside other potential options that the review considered.
The draft strategic outline case will be presented to each provider organisation’s Board with a preferred option on how best we can work together once developed.. A business case will then be created and submitted to each provider organisation’s Board and the Integrated Care Board before being submitted to NHS England for consideration. A full timeline is being developed and will be shared once available.
We will be sharing more information here and will be carrying out an extensive engagement programme. If you would like to get involved, please contact us at email@example.com
Throughout, we will work together with people who use our services, their families, our partner and people working in health and care across Hampshire and Isle of Wight. You have the knowledge, experience and expertise to help us determine how we take the next steps and your views are vital.