This guidance published by the London Strategic Clinical Network for Mental Health explores case studies where mental health and wellbeing services are being promoted and developed within and alongside primary care, and draws some key lessons from them.
The guidance recognises that:
- primary care mental health is growing rapidly
- commissioners are very stretched
- introducing new ways of working is time and energy consuming
- providers are working at full stretch and need to be convinced to change ways of working, and
- learning from those who have already done it is not easily accessible.
The 10 key lessons from the case studies include:
- Local champions drive forward implementation
- Effective health and wellbeing boards can be enormously helpful
- Primary care education and training will enable change
- Money needs to move with the patient
- Co-production will deliver ownership by people who use services and carers, as well as better services
- Services need to cover all ages
- A mosaic of services needs to be provided to wrap around individuals and carers.
- Specialists’ time should be freed up to look after those with complex needs and to be available for rapid advice and help for primary care
- IT enabled communications between primary care and mental health are vital for a fully functioning service
- Managing long term conditions