North London Partners in health and care

Successful transformation funding bid for mental health services

North London Partners has successfully bid for just under £5,000,000 transformation funding from NHS England and NHS Improvement (NHSE&I).

The transformation funding in 2019 – 2021 will provide additional resources and capacity to respond to the increasing demand in hospital and community crisis teams working to deliver mental health services in North Central London. It focuses on two priority areas: Mental Health Community Crisis Care Transformation Funding and Mental Health Liaison Service Transformation Funding.

The Mental Health Community Crisis Care Transformation Funding will be used to enhance the 24/7 single point of access to urgent and emergency mental health assessment and intensive home treatment.

It will also be used to ensure that services have the necessary staffing to deliver 'high fidelity' services, meaning they have the capacity to meet the increasing local mental health demand and have crisis alternatives in place, such as crisis cafes, to support patients closer to home to prevent mental health crisis.

Camden & Islington NHS Foundation Trust and Barnet, Enfield & Haringey Mental Health NHS Trust are developing a mental health provider alliance which will support the delivery of the Community Crisis Care Transformation Funding as it seeks to increase integrated community support and standardise care across the boroughs of Barnet, Camden, Enfield, Haringey and Islington.

The Mental Health Liaison Service Transformation Funding will be received in 2020/21. This  £1.2m additional capacity will be used to strengthen the capacity in the mental health teams based in all emergency departments (ED) in north central London.

This funding will support individuals presenting in mental health crisis at ED within 1 hour, to have timely access to a mental health assessment and care plan within 4 hours of arriving at ED, and 24 hours on the wards, and mobilising inpatient admission based on assessment if needed.

The decision to apply for an NCL wide bid was based on the successful NCL Mental Health Liaison Service implementation partnership, which includes representatives from the Mental Health Trusts, Acute Trusts, Clinical Commissioning Groups and Experts by Experience. These partners work together to agree a shared NCL approach to service delivery and performance targets. Based on this collaboration they produced a joint funding proposal.

Commenting on the proposal an Expert by Experience representative (this is an NCL resident who has personal experience of using or caring for someone who uses mental health services) said: “Increasing access to support for patients in crisis is important and similar support services need to be available irrespective of their borough”.