New community support for mental health and learning disabilities

Published on: 5th April 2016

Mental health support for children and young people, and services for adults with learning disabilities will receive a boost this April, with the launch of new community teams and additional crisis support.
Services currently offered by Lincolnshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust for children and young people and adults with learning disabilities have undergone significant review with our commissioners over the last year, to improve and enhance the support available and to enable people to live well in the community.

These new enhanced community services will launch this April and include a complete restructure of the Trust’s current community services in Children and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) and adult learning disability provision.

As well as new multi-disciplinary teams across the county, both services will be introducing increased support for adults with learning disabilities and young people in crisis. CAMHS will also be introducing new eating disorder support and adult learning disability services will now offer diagnosis and signposting for adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).

The new enhanced community models have been developed in conjunction with local commissioners, Lincolnshire County Council (for CAMHS) and South West Lincolnshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) - as the lead for learning disability commissioning on behalf of all Lincolnshire CCGs. Consultation has also included other key stakeholders, service users, carers and staff. 

An additional £1.4million of transformation monies has been secured to improve mental health support for children, young people and their families across the county.

Mental health and learning disability services have been under the national media spotlight recently with significant coverage of the current challenges faced by people with mental health problems and learning disabilities; particularly around difficulties in accessing community support and appropriate use of inpatient care.

The revised community services will streamline how people access local mental health and learning disability support, with one single point of access for all referrals.

Multi-disciplinary teams will work around a child, young person or adult with learning disabilities to deliver the right care, at the right time, delivered by the most appropriate person.

In addition, both services will introduce new crisis intervention and home treatment to support service users, their family and carers in mental health crisis, or for adults with learning disabilities who are experiencing particularly complex and challenging behaviours.  Both teams will be available out of hours and will aim to assess individuals quickly; putting in place measures to keep them safe and well, in their own home as far as possible. 

All of the changes have been delivered in line with the national vision for NHS services, the ‘NHS Five Year Forward View’, which focuses on early prevention and increased community support to prevent hospital admission.

Publications such as ‘Transforming care for people with learning disabilities’ and ‘Future in mind - promoting, protecting and improving children and young people’s mental health and wellbeing’ have also set out ambitious plans for system-wide change to enable more people to live well in the community with the right support and close to home. Principles in both these documents have steered the changes locally.

Both models have a clear commitment to timely and easy access to appropriate services and working closely with other agencies involved in service user’s care.

Ian Jerams, Director of Operations at Lincolnshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust said:

We are very pleased to have been able to work closely with our commissioners to develop new models of care which have a clear patient focus. These new models will bring together a wide range of professionals and remove some of the barriers people may experience, to easily access the right support, at the right time and most importantly live well in their communities.

We will be working hard to ensure transitions between services are seamless, whether that is young people moving to adult mental health services, or service users with learning disabilities also accessing social care. We want service users to remain supported and involved throughout.