Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys (TEWV) NHS FT have been working with local primary care colleagues to improve access to services for people with mental health conditions.
In partnership with NHS North Yorkshire’s Clinical Commissioning Group, the FT have embedded mental health professionals into multi-disciplinary GP meetings across Scarborough and Ryedale.
The approach is part of a pilot partnership programme to support GPs with mental health referrals and improve their knowledge of mental health services.
David Kerr, TEWV Programme Delivery Lead for community mental health transformation in North Yorkshire said: “The aim is to create a more joined up and responsive approach to mental health care in the area.
“We want to make sure people receive appropriate care that meets their individual needs. We have piloted the scheme in the local area for a few months now and it’s having a really positive impact.”
Gregory Black, GP at Ampleforth Surgery said: “Having mental health professionals attend our meetings has improved communication between the general practice and the mental health team, allowing clinicians to provide better care and help patients in a more timely manner.”
Peter Billingsley, GP and Clinical Lead for vulnerable people at the NHS North Yorkshire Clinical Commissioning Group - who was also involved in the initial pilot of the programme - said: “The scheme has made a big difference in helping to plan people’s care. It provides the opportunity for further discussion with mental health professionals, which ensures that people receive appropriate referrals to the right services and signposting to wider support where relevant.”
Following the success of the initial programme, planning is under way to roll the scheme out to other GP services across Scarborough and Ryedale. Other pilot schemes are also in development in Harrogate, and York.