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Autumn 2020 - thank you to everyone who completed the survey!

Do you think our plans will make things better?

In 2018, the Ipswich & East Suffolk and West Suffolk CCGs joined forces with the other organisations responsible for mental health and emotional wellbeing services in east and west Suffolk.

Together, we’ve been having ongoing discussions with patient groups and the public. As well as people who work in healthcare, social care and education.

We called this #AVeryDifferentConversation. The purpose of this conversation was to figure out how mental health services could be improved.

In September/October 2020, we asked you to help us again

We wanted you to consider the plans we’d made, and tell us if you thought we'd got things right. We asked you if you thought that the changes we’d proposed would make mental health services better.

Lots of you watched our videos and looked at our plans before filling out they survey.

There’s still time to learn about the plans. We'd love for you to take a look at the videos, diagrams, written information and example scenarios we've put together.

Because this is a Suffolk Mental Health Alliance project, including many different partners, all of these resources are hosted on the West Suffolk CCG website. But don't worry - all of the mental health services and plans that we're discussing cover both east and west Suffolk.

Take a look at the plans



Phase 2 – From Engagement to Design

After listening to the views of more than 4,000 people regarding what future mental health services should look like in east and west Suffolk, we are now ready to move forward again together.

We have taken on board the feedback received over the last 12 months from our co-production partners, system colleagues, providers, service users and staff to create our 10-year East and West Suffolk Mental Health & Emotional Wellbeing Strategy.

As you will be aware, the strategy focuses on the closer integration of physical and mental health and care services, additional investment in services and workforce support.

The innovative engagement exercise we carried out to inform the strategy has given us a unique insight into the mental health needs of our local population.

It is now time to move on to the next phase of #averydifferentconversation and begin the process of designing and implementing the services that will enable us to provide our local population with the right support, at the right time, from the right people, in the right place and in the right way.

As we proceed, it is important to stress that we remain committed to involving all our partners in this next design stage as we seek to develop in more detail what our mental health services should look like.

This process includes our alliance partners - the NHS Ipswich & East Suffolk and NHS West Suffolk clinical commissioning groups, the Norfolk & Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust (NSFT), the East Suffolk and North Essex NHS Foundation Trust (ESNEFT), the West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust (WSFT), the Suffolk GP Federation (GP Fed) and Suffolk County Council (SCC) – our co-production partners Suffolk Parent Carer Network (SPCN), Suffolk User Forum (SUF) and Suffolk Family Carers (SFC), and our combined workforces.

We have divided this next phase of design work into four priority groups:
  1. Services for children, young people and families 
  2. Community mental health services  
  3. 24/7 mental health crisis 
  4. Learning disabilities 
Each group is tasked with developing an outline model for service provision by the end of September 2019 and will be supported by a small team from across our alliance partners.

Anybody who would like to take part in the work taking place around these key project areas should email comms@suffolk.nhs.uk using #averydifferentconversation in the subject field.

It is important to note that while all this very necessary work is being carried out, we are already investing in local services for which there is a clear and obvious need.

This investment has included:

  • £2.6m for Improving Access to Psychological Therapies and Long Term Conditions (IAPT and LTC) – as part of our drive to integrate physical and mental health services we are working with WSFT and ESNEFT by placing ‘talking therapies’ into hospital to support the mental health and emotional wellbeing needs of patients with diabetes, COPD and cardiology (and other conditions over time)
  • £2.1m for the development of a Crisis Resolution and Home Treatment Team – we have worked with partners to agree the business case for delivering a dedicated 24/7 telephone response service in Suffolk via the NHS 111#2 facility as well as providing support in patients’ homes where appropriate
  • £1m towards improving Early Intervention in Psychosis (EIP) services – this new service will deliver support for patients presenting with psychosis in line with NICE guidelines, and
  • A range of grant-funded voluntary sector and primary care initiatives including Dementia Together (£70,000), Survivors in Transition (£149,000) and Suffolk MIND (£42,000) – we recognise the vital role that voluntary and community services can play in supporting patients’ mental health and emotional wellbeing and are committed to utilising this in our future service model.
In addition, we are currently developing new community-focused integrated mental health services for Haverhill, Suffolk Coastal and Ipswich under the Early Adopter initiative, which will run from autumn 2019.

Once we have designed our mental health service models we will work with our alliance and co-production partners between October and January to develop them further and work through how we commission and deliver them. 

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