Earlier this year, our Sustainability and Transformation Partnership (STP) in Sussex and East Surrey commissioned a review of how mental health services are planned, commissioned, funded and delivered in our area.
The aim was to help determine how the voluntary sector, local authorities and NHS can work better together to meet the needs of the patients, carers, families and local communities we serve.
The review was carried out with the involvement of all partners and involved clinicians, patients and carers. It is the most detailed analysis of the current picture of local mental health services that we have ever undertaken, and it lays bare the scale of challenge that we face.
The outcomes experienced by local people with mental health problems are often poor, crisis care in particular could be much better. There are strong arguments for increasing the funding available for mental health services and for using the resources that are available more effectively.
The review has also identified a wide range of opportunities for addressing these challenges and for making real improvements to services and wellbeing for local people. Warm words about mental health are not enough. This review highlights the need for real changes in the ways that mental health services are commissioned and provided and working together in partnership through the STP offers us the best chance to achieve this.
We will be working together in the coming weeks on how we use this review to shape the future of mental health services in our area. This will include decisions on where investment is needed and where services need to change or be developed. We will want to have a much broader conversation about these issues with patients, carers and others with an interest in mental health.
Sam Allen, STP Senior Responsible Officer for mental health
Wendy Carberry, Accountable Officer for High Weald Lewes CCG.