Lincolnshire is one of only 12 areas across the country that will benefit from significant additional funding for community mental health as part of the implementation of the NHS Long Term Plan.
Announced nationally on Sunday 29 September, the Lincolnshire Sustainability and Transformation Partnership (STP) will share £70 million with 11 other ‘early implementer’ sites across England that will be used to test new models of care for young, working age and older adults over the next two years. This will have a powerful and positive impact on patients across Lincolnshire.
The NHS Long Term Plan, published in January this year, made a commitment to transforming mental health services so that people with severe mental illnesses (SMI) are able to access better care, closer to home.
More specifically, the NHS Mental Health Implementation Plan 2019/20-2023/24 sets out how NHS England and NHS Improvement will work with local systems to develop new integrated models of primary and community mental health care, which will mean that at least 370,000 adults and older adults per year nationally will have greater choice and control over their care, and be supported to live well in their communities.
In addition, the 12 sites developing new models will also improve timely access for people who need care by testing four week waiting times in line with the Clinically-led Review of NHS Access Standards.
Brendan Hayes, Chief Executive of Lincolnshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust said: “I am absolutely delighted that we have been successful in securing this national funding for Lincolnshire for the next two years to enable us to be an early implementer for this important transformation.
“We are absolutely committed to working in partnership to deliver outstanding mental health care in our community mental health services so that people with moderate to severe mental illness will be supported to live well in their communities, with access to better care, closer to home.”
John Turner, Chief Officer of the Lincolnshire NHS Clinical Commissioning Groups said: “Developed with colleagues at Lincolnshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust (LPFT), our successful bid will enable Lincolnshire to achieve a significant shift in how people with severe mental illnesses across the county can access the care they need closer to home. This is fantastic news for people across Lincolnshire.
“Our share of the £70 million is expected to be just over £6 million over two years, allowing us to be seriously ambitious in our approach to community mental health during the two-year testing phase. We will also look to improve timely access for people who need care by testing four week waiting times.”
As one of the early implementer sites, Lincolnshire will also use the funding to maintain and develop new services for people who have specific or additional needs, including complex mental health difficulties associated with a diagnosis of ‘personality disorder’ and mental health rehabilitation.
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