On Thursday 6 December the Harrogate and Rural District Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) Governing Body approved a proposal for the future development of mental health services in the district.
The agreed approach will enable investment in enhanced community services and ensure that people who need specialist inpatient services receive these in a safe, modern, purpose build facility. Inpatient services will be provided outside the district and this could possibly be provided by extending the specialist mental health hospital currently being built in York. Additional community services will reduce the need for admissions and will enable earlier intervention and additional resources for prevention and supported recovery.
The decision by the Governing Body was the culmination of extensive work undertaken over the last two years by the CCG and Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys NHS Foundation Trust, the local specialist mental health services provider, to understand the needs and priorities of people who live in Harrogate and Rural District.
During this time a number of proposed solutions for the future provision of mental health services were developed based on clinical evidence and best practice as well as feedback from the public and health care professionals. All of these proposed solutions, some of which included provision of inpatient services within Harrogate District, were considered. The Governing Body concluded that the approved solution was the only option that maximised patient safety and experience, while remaining true to its commitment to providing care as close to home as possible. The full evaluation and evidence base underpinning all the proposed solutions is publically available on our website.
Dr Peter Billingsley, Clinical Lead for Mental Health for Harrogate and Rural District CCG said: “The Governing Body decision will enable us to use our resources to provide the best possible mental health care for the people of Harrogate and Rural District.
“We will be able to invest more in community care, prevention, early intervention and recovery locally while ensuring that people who need to be admitted into a hospital receive appropriate specialist care in a setting which is best able to support their timely and sustained recovery. The solution adopted will release over £500,000 for enhanced community services which could pay for over 14 additional mental health workers. This will enable us to reduce admissions and ensure that people who are admitted return home sooner.
“We think this is the right solution for the people of Harrogate and Rural District. We will now continue our discussions with people across the district, working particularly closely with service users and their families and carers, to further develop the proposals for enhanced community based services.”
Dr Tolulope Olusoga, Interim Deputy Medical Director for Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys NHS Foundation Trust said: “We are committed to providing the best possible mental healthcare for local people.
“We know that many people benefit from receiving care and support in their own home as much as possible, and this model will enable us to provide this to more people who require it.
“When specialist hospital care is needed, we want to make sure people are able to receive this at the most appropriate facility to meet their needs.”
There will be further conversations with patients and the public about shaping fit for the future mental health services for the district in the months ahead. These conversations will focus on developing enhanced community mental health services.