Plans put forward to improve service

A NEW strategy to make mental health services in the county better and more straightforward has been unveiled.

The NHS Northumberland Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) has published plans to tackle mental health inequality for children, young people, adults and older people.

Called Mental Health Model of Care – Vision for the future, it has been developed after discussions with patients, clinical staff working in mental health and partners in Northumberland County Council, and it looks at how Northumberland CCG can better commission services to support the needs of local people.

Users will access the pathway to the most appropriate services to meet their needs, first time, every time, and patients will always be at the centre of the care planning process.

Dr Alistair Blair, chief clinical officer and Lynemouth GP, said: “We are close to our patients and therefore are very well placed to know what local changes to services could be made to improve the responsiveness of local health services.

“This way, we can help people recover from mental ill-health sooner and help them get the most out of their lives and we look forward to having further discussions with our local partners in health and social care about this key document.”

Coun Scott Dickinson, chair of the Northumberland Health and Well-being Board, said: “Mental Health is difficult for those people distressed by their condition and their loved ones and so mental and physical health being given the same priority will be welcome news for patients and their families.”