The work to transform community mental health services in Peterborough has been hailed a success by the President of the Royal College of GPs.
Dame Clare Gerada visited Thistlemoor Surgery in Peterborough (yesterday Wednesday, 28 September) to hear from a range of health professionals and service users about the progress that has been made to mental health services over the last three years.
Dame Clare (pictured with Dr Neil Modha and Dr Emma Tiffin) said: “I’m so pleased to be back here in Peterborough, where I grew up, listening to such energetic and enthusiastic people who are making such a difference to mental health outcomes."
In 2019, Peterborough was chosen to be one of 12 pilot areas with the aim of “joining the dots” between services offered to local people with mental health needs by the specialist mental health service, GPs, local authorities, and the voluntary sector. The project has now been given recurrent funding following an initial two-year pilot.
The changes to mental health services have focussed on a holistic approach to the care of patients by establishing more effective partnerships between organisations, improving access to support, and expanding the number of pathways and mental health treatments.
Mental health specialist staff are now available in all GP surgeries and there have also been enhancements to social worker support, specialist psychological help, and drug and alcohol outreach services. Another of the key successes of the Peterborough Exemplar has been the establishment of the How Are You? website - www.haycambspboro.co.uk - which allows people to find out what wellbeing support is available near them.
Dr Emma Tiffin, GP and NHS Cambridgeshire & Peterborough Clinical Mental Health Lead said: “It was a pleasure to have Dame Clare visit us in Peterborough. She heard from a variety of people about how we have transformed and improved community mental health services over the past three years.
“I’m sure Dame Clare will take this insight back to the Royal College and share some of the solutions we have found to improve the mental health of the people and communities of Peterborough.”
Adele McCormack, Service Director for Adults and Specialist Services at Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust, said: “All partners involved in the continued improvements in community mental health services have kept patients and service users at the very heart of what has been achieved so far.
“But there is still much to do. We know that one in four people will be affected by mental ill-health during their lifetime, so the work will continue to ensure people can get the help and support they need as quickly as possible.”
Dame Clare’s father was a GP in Peterborough working with the father of Thistlemoor MedicalCentre’s managing partner Dr Neil Modha.
Neil said: “Thanks to Clare for visiting Peterborough and learning about the work going on across the city. It was also great for us to show Clare what unique challenges Peterborough has and what is needed to provide our great city with the specific care our population needs.”
The partnership is working hard to evaluate the exemplar model with the ultimate vison of achieving joined up mental health services across Peterborough and Cambridgeshire and increasing access to treatment, care and support for local people and communities.
For more information contact:
Communications and Engagement Manager
Cambridgeshire & Peterborough Integrated Care System (ICS)
Interim Head of Communications
Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust