This report published by the NHS Confederation presents a detailed case study of the journey Sandwell’s health commissioners (then Sandwell PCT, now Sandwell and West Birmingham Clinical Commissioning Group) went through to respond to a number of important health inequalities within its local population.
In 2006, Sandwell Primary Care Trust undertook a mental health GP profiling assessment. This highlighted that there was an immediate need to prioritise and make adequate provision and prevention for depression, which represented the highest prevalent disorder, with high numbers of people not receiving therapy but receiving anti-depressants.
The case study report focuses on how Sandwell’s health service commissioners responded to these health inequalities to develop a primary care-led approach to improving mental health and wellbeing. The health inequalities they sought to address included:
- poor levels of mental and physical health
- social deprivation
- poor access to low-intensity community mental health and wellbeing services
- heavy use of secondary care mental health services.
The diagram to the right illustrates the Stepped care approach to mental health care in Sandwell.
The diagram below illustrates the preventative and early detection integrated primary care and mental health model developed in Sandwell to pick up individuals in the population that may fall under the radar of acute services.