As the NHS Lambeth Clinical Commissioning Group set out to develop an alliance contract for all adult mental health services over the next 7-10 years, it is important to understand how effectively community based mental health services are currently supporting people with mental health concerns. Using our Enter and View power, we set out to explore a cross-section of services, including those who provide employment support, supported accommodation and clinical treatment. We visited Mosaic Clubhouse, Southside Rehabilitation, Living Well Network Hub, Connelly House, Penrose House and the South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust Mood, Anxiety and Personality Community Mental Health Team.
Goal setting was commonly being utilised across services.
Across all services, value of emotional support and empathy, frequently in the context of service users’ relationships with staff or groups within the service.
Information about and referrals into sources of support were being provided by individual clinicians and case workers, or via noticeboards.
While we identified some common themes, it is also important to note that there were significant differences in the design and delivery of support; the experiences of staff and service users; and the impact and scale of need the services were addressing. That said, by visiting a variety of services, we have been able to see how important it is that there is fluidity and communication across community mental health services, and the need for services to work together to holistically address the multiple needs of individuals. Based on our work so far, we decided to develop a new Enter and View programme focussing on NHS secondary care mental health services from April 2017.