Let’s start a healthy conversation about mental health and learning disabilities services
It’s now estimated that one quarter of the population will suffer from a mental health issue during their lifetime, so we must make sure our local services are able to cope with the demand. Our mental health is treated with the same importance as our physical health, often referred to as parity of esteem.
In Lincolnshire, our key priorities over the last few years have been:
- Ensuring as many local people as possible can receive their hospital-based, inpatient mental health care in Lincolnshire, without needing to travel outside of the county
- The transformation of community mental health teams and learning disability teams to enable more patients to receive the care they need at home, without being admitted into hospital
Our progress so far
There has been some excellent progress towards these priorities, all of which are aligned with the direction of the recently published NHS Long Term Plan. Our successes include:
- A 10-bed, male psychiatric intensive care unit (PICU) opened in Lincoln in July 2017. Since then, men needing this intensive level of care have been able to receive it closer to home.
- Developed ‘places of safety’ at both Lincoln and Pilgrim Hospitals’ A&E departments, improving access to mental health services, alongside other support around housing, homelessness, debt management and drug and alcohol services
- Halved the number of patients being cared for out of county by opening a psychiatric clinical decisions unit (PCDU), extending our home treatment service and by introducing enhanced bed manager roles
- Following a targeted engagement exercise our community learning disabilities service became permanent, providing care for people in their homes, without the need for an overnight stay
- A new emotional wellbeing service for children and young people, offering support for young people, parents and carers as well as training for professionals in education and children’s services
- Successfully bidding for NHS England funding means we have significantly expanded perinatal mental health services in Lincolnshire, supporting new mothers and their families.
- Continuing to increase our dementia diagnosis rate across Lincolnshire. This will be helped by our Dementia Strategy, launched in February 2019, as well the new Admiral Nurse service that we are launching in April 2019 to help support the families of people with dementia. This is in partnership with St Barnabas Hospice and Dementia UK, and will be integrated into neighbourhood working
- We are also improving our child and adolescent mental health services
The future of these services
We need to continue to improve all of our services in a way which is affordable and linked with our wellbeing services, particularly how they are delivered and accessed within our local communities. We are currently doing some important work with our service users and partners in the voluntary and charity sectors to make it easier for patients in crisis to access support first time.
We are committed to valuing mental health as equally as physical health which would result in those with mental health problems benefitting from:
- Equal access to the most effective and safest care and treatment
- Equal efforts to improve the quality of care
- The allocation of time, effort and resources on a basis commensurate with need
- Equal status within healthcare education and practice
- Equally high aspirations for service users
- Equal status in the measurement of health outcomes