A range of partners in Birmingham and Solihull are working with a local GP partnership to trial a new way of working that will mean better mental health care for local people, provided in the right environment, at the right time, close to home, by the most appropriate professional.
The pilot of a new integrated place-based primary care service for people with mental health problems will initially focus on patients served by the Omnia Practice in East Birmingham. At a weekly multi-disciplinary team meeting (MDT), professionals from the NHS and a range of local statutory and voluntary sector services discuss, plan and deliver care for patients put forward by GPs at the practice. The MDT includes Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust, Birmingham Community Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, GPs, Birmingham City Council Adult Social Care, Birmingham Mind, Better Pathways and the Living Well Consortium.
The MDT considers the needs of the individual relating to housing, employment, money or relationships alongside mental health difficulties and agrees a plan of action that might range from signposting the patient to local services through to a full case managed wrap around approach.
The intended benefits of the service for the patient include:
• easier and speedier access and re-access to the right specialist support
• better management of physical health needs alongside mental health needs
• ongoing hand-holding from one or more professionals who work as a coordinated team on behalf of the patient
• putting patients and their carers more in control and improving their ability to self-manage care
• receiving care in a less stigmatised environment
• supporting people back to work and/or engagement in meaningful, rewarding activities.
For healthcare professionals it means easier and timely access to support and advice for GPs, improved partnership and community working and a reduction in admissions into secondary care where the patient’s needs can be met through an alternative route.
If the trial is successful then it is hoped that the MDT will be expanded to cover additional practices.