Hertfordshire and West Essex STP receive funding to improve community mental health care

West Essex and Hertfordshire residents with moderate to severe mental health illnesses will benefit from a new £4.5 million fund to improve the specialist support available to them over the next two years.

The new funding for the area is part of a total £70m national fund for community mental health services, which has been allocated by NHS England to 12 areas across the UK.

Dr Geraldine O’Sullivan, Consultant Psychiatrist and Hertfordshire and West Essex Sustainability and Transformation Partnership (STP) Clinical Lead for Mental Health said “The NHS Long Term Plan, published in January this year, places a great emphasis on the need to transform community mental health services. We know that good mental health is just as important as our physical well-being and I am delighted that our proposal to develop local services in our area has been approved.  The strength of local partnerships has made this funding possible.”

“We will use the funding to test new ways of caring, with service users, General Practice, local authorities, the voluntary sector, families and carers, and local communities working together. The new approaches we use will ultimately help set the standard for patients across the country who need access to better community mental health treatments.”

The funding will focus on:

  • improving the ways in which adults with complex mental health difficulties, who have been diagnosed with a personality disorder, are treated
  • improving services for patients with eating disorders
  • testing new ways of supporting 18-25 year olds with mental health problems
  • trialling new ways of using the mental health workforce to better meet the needs of different communities

Improved mental health help will include improved access to psychological or ‘talking’ therapies for people with severe mental illnesses, improved physical health care, employment support, personalised and trauma-informed care, medicines management help and support for people who self-harm and also misuse substances.