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Today our Chief Executive, Brendan Hill, sat on the panel at the launch of Deciding Together, which is a public consultation held by Newcastle Gateshead Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and seeks the views of local people on the different ways specialist mental health services could be arranged.

Here is Brendan’s feedback about the event:

Patients and families are being invited to share their views on options for the future of NHS specialist mental health services in Newcastle and Gateshead. Deciding Together will gather feedback from carers, mental health professionals and service providers about the best ways to arrange services in the future.

Over the past year, the NHS in Newcastle and Gateshead has asked hundreds of local people for their opinions on existing services. Now, the Newcastle Gateshead CCG is putting forward a range of different ways in which in-patient and community mental health services could be arranged.

All the scenarios include changes to in-patient and community services, as well as steps to make it easier for service users and carers to get the support they need.

There needs to be a very strong framework of support in the community; the CCG would like this to include:

  • improved access to help, advice, and support when in a crisis
  • alternatives to admission to hospital
  • greater access to vocational opportunities, such as supported volunteering, education, training and employment support
  • increased availability of peer support
  • increased involvement of and support for carers
  • increased access to navigation and link workers
  • greater use of social prescribing, direct payments, and personalisation
  • development of alternative models, such as adult fostering

A new community support framework could include:

  • a multi-agency initial response system
  • community-based residential rehabilitation, step-up and step-down facilities and supported housing
  • residential crisis support
  • urgent response and care: crisis support without beds
  • community-based recovery college
  • community resilience and wellbeing hub, including increased access to vocational and social inclusion
  • the different ways that in-patient services could be arranged

The full consultation document can be viewed here: Deciding Together consultation document (PDF, 155kB).

Dr Guy Pilkington, a Newcastle GP and Chair of NHS Newcastle Gateshead CCG, tells us why services need to change in the video below:

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