North Yorkshire and York CCGs working with specialists to improve access to mental health services

Local primary care and specialist mental health colleagues are working together to improve access to services for people with mental health conditions.
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North Yorkshire and Vale of York Clinical Commissioning Groups and specialist mental health provider Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys NHS Foundation Trust have worked together to embed mental health professionals into a number of GP practices across Hambleton, Richmondshire and Whitby in order to support GP’s with mental health referrals and improve their knowledge of mental health services.

The programme is part of partnership work to create a more joined up and responsive approach to mental health care in the area, ensuring people receive appropriate and timely care that meets their individual needs.

Commenting on the scheme David Kerr, programme delivery lead for community mental health transformation in North Yorkshire and York said: “Our ultimate aim is to ensure people receive the right care in the right place at the right time and this new approach is helping us to do just that.

We have piloted the scheme in the local area since June 2020 and the partnership approach is having a really positive impact. We have seen improved communication, strengthened relationships and increased awareness between primary care and mental health services. All of which ultimately lead to a much better overall experience for the people we are caring for.
— David Kerr

Peter Billingsley, GP and clinical lead for vulnerable people at North Yorkshire Clinical Commissioning Group has been involved in the initial pilot of the programme says “Having mental health professionals within surgeries has made a big difference in helping to plan people’s care. It provides the opportunity for further discussion with mental health professionals, which ensures that people receive appropriate referrals to the right services and signposting to wider support where relevant.”

Following the success of the initial programme, planning is under way to roll the scheme out to other GP services across Hambleton, Richmondshire and Whitby. Other pilot schemes are also in development in Harrogate, Scarborough, Ryedale and York.

If you are a GP and interested in finding out more about how this could benefit your practice contact d.kerr2@nhs.net.

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