Improved Community Mental Health Services go live across Leeds. @leedsandyorkpft

Thousands of people are set to benefit from redesigned community mental health services in Leeds which went live on 25 March 2019.

Following a huge three year project, Leeds and York Partnership NHS Foundation Trust is launching a range of new and dedicated community mental health services. This includes new dedicated community teams for both younger and older adults, a new 24/7 mental health crisis service and an intensive home treatment team.

During 2018 the Trust involved thousands of staff, service users, carers and partners in shaping the new services, and lots of their suggestions have been implemented in the new service models.

Andy Weir, Deputy Chief Operating Officer at the Trust, chaired the Project Board that led the redesign of services. He said: “These changes will improve the quality of care we offer to people, ensuring timely access to the right specialist health staff. We’ll also be increasing our provision of home-based treatment over hospital-based treatment, which we know is how most people want to access community mental health services.

“We’ve made these changes as we found that the ‘ageless service’ we launched in 2012 wasn’t always reaching the standards of care we aspired to, especially for older people. We were also not delivering the type of crisis and home treatment services we knew were most effective.

“Referrals into our community mental health services more than doubled since the ageless model was launched in 2012. Our teams have attempted to absorb this additional workload, but this has led to staff holding very high caseloads and meant we were spreading ourselves too thinly to deliver the quality of care we aspired to.

“We’ve redesigned our services to address all of these concerns. I’m really grateful to everyone who’s contributed to making this happen and we’re excited about making a huge difference to the thousands of people we care for in the community.”

New Look Community Mental Health Services in Leeds – a quick guide

The following is a quick overview of the new services we’re launching on 25 March 2019.

NEW Community Mental Health Service for Working Age Adults

This is designed to work with adults (usually aged 18-65) in two groups: those that require shorter time-limited services, and those with more complex needs that require longer term care. The service will operate Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm, with support from other services (described below) outside these hours. It will offer home-based treatment for the majority of people where this is appropriate but there will also be opportunities to receive services in other community locations.

NEW Crisis Resolution and Intensive Support Service (CRISS)

This service will operate 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. It will support adults (usually aged 18-65) experiencing a mental health crisis with intensive home-based treatment as a genuine alternative to hospital admission. It will also support older people in crisis outside of normal working hours.

NEW Community Mental Health Teams for Older People

This is a new dedicated service for people aged over 65. This service will be run by three teams operating across Leeds offering home-based care to people who are experiencing mental health difficulties. They will also work with people experiencing problems related to dementia if it has already been diagnosed. Previously this work would have been done by our Memory Service so this is a change to previous arrangements.

NEW Intensive Home Treatment Team (IHTT) for Older People

This new service will assess and care for older people with more acute and complex problems related to their mental health or dementia. It will provide intense support to help avoid hospital admission if that is what the person prefers. This means they will normally offer support where a person lives. The team will also help to support people when they are discharged from hospital.

Memory Assessment Service

The Memory Assessment Service will continue to provide assessment, diagnosis and short-term treatment for older people experiencing early dementia. This service will focus on diagnosing memory problems. The majority of people will be seen in a clinic and some in their own home if required. Their aim is to see people within eight weeks from referral and make their diagnosis within 12 weeks of referral. The team will identify a person’s needs and work with them and their family on what longer term treatment or support may be required, involving a person’s GP and other health care providers.

NEW Care Homes Service

Our new Care Homes Service supports people with mental health problems who live in care homes across Leeds. It will now be split into two teams.

Firstly, there will be a team working with people with longer term mental health needs, including people with dementia. This is to ensure these people receive the same level of service they could expect if they were living at home – where they would be under the care of a Community Mental Health Team for example.

Secondly, there will be an intensive care homes team who will work with people in the shorter term. Their focus will be helping people in care homes avoid hospital admission, and to support faster discharge from hospital back to care homes.

The Younger People with Dementia Team

This team has not changed and will continue to provide assessment, diagnosis and treatment for working age adults with dementia and their families.