Leeds residents to benefit from £20 million new investment in mental health services

A contract worth up to £76 million, including new investment of at least £20 million, over the next five years to improve mental health services in the city has been awarded by NHS Leeds Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG).

The CCG is responsible for planning and funding (commissioning) the majority of local health services for people in Leeds. The funding announcement follows a significant review of primary care mental health services for people with common mental ill health conditions (anxiety and depression) and stable serious mental health issues such as those accessing community mental health teams. The contract award will see a new citywide service running from 1 November 2019 building on existing support already available in Leeds.

This review worked with people who have used services, the wider public as well as health and care professionals to understand current experiences and any additional support that people need.

The investment will give people access to the following services depending on their needs.

  • Improving access to psychological therapies (IAPT), which provides access to evidence-based psychological therapies, including talking therapies. IAPT supports people with issues affecting their mental health such as anxiety and depression or obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD).
  • Primary care mental health liaison that builds on successful pilots in Leeds. This will mean additional support being made available directly through GP practices, where people have additional needs.
  • Perinatal mental health support which is designed to help parents and parents-to-be during pregnancy or in the first year following the birth of a child.

Sue Robins, Director of Operational Delivery, said: “We’ve been listening carefully to what people have been telling us about the support available to them. Our investment and long-term approach acknowledges that we have a lot to do to improve timely access to support for people and we’ll be working closely with service providers to ensure we reduce waiting times for services. In addition, we’ll use our learning from the primary care mental health liaison pilots to ensure we cover any gaps identified by people who had previously accessed IAPT or any other service.

“Our commitment to addressing the needs of people requiring support for their mental health fits with the NHS Long Term Plan. We’re committed to realising the vision that people with mental ill health issues receive the same levels of support as those who have physical health needs, while also addressing the stigma associated with mental ill health.”

Leeds Community Healthcare NHS Trust will be the lead provider, working in a partnership with other organisations. The other organisations that will be delivering the service in partnership with Leeds Community Healthcare NHS Trust are: Northpoint Wellbeing, Community Links, Leeds and York Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, Touchstone, Women’s Counselling and Therapy Services, Home Start Leeds, and Leeds GP Confederation.

Information about mental health support available in Leeds can be found by visiting the award-winning one stop website Mindwell www.mindwell-leeds.org.uk. For children and younger people advice and support is available through www.mindmate.org.uk