Agenda item

Herefordshire and Worcestershire Mental Health and Wellbeing Strategy

To review and endorse the draft Herefordshire and Worcestershire Mental Health Strategy.



The board received a report concerning the draft Herefordshire and Worcestershire Mental Health Strategy. Ewen Archibald (Interim Assistant Director All Ages Commissioning) and Jack Lyons-Wainwright (NHS Herefordshire and Worcestershire CCG) introduced the report and outlined: the all-ages scope of the strategy, the extensive engagement that had taken place, the interconnectivity of the strategy with other services, the ongoing transformation of community mental health services for working age adults and the significance of wider developments such as Talk Community and work upstream.


Jack Lyons-Wainwright highlighted slides within the report containing the pillars of mental health and the pyramid of need, and how the strategy aims to pull resource down to informal care, self-care and primary care level where possible.


Board members were invited to comment, the principal points included:


·        It was queried how GPs refer people to mental health services for help, how support services would link together and if there were enough resources to cope, given existing waiting lists to see mental health counsellors.


It was explained that there was a transitionary phase in progress when Covid-19 arrived, which presented difficulties during this time. A GPs triage process was now in place for all community mental health referrals to: IAPT (Improving Access to Psychological Therapies), Healthy Minds, secondary mental health services or voluntary sector partners. The intention was to develop that further, so the GPs will be able to directly refer to, for example, voluntary sector partners rather than going through mental health practitioners through the trust.


It was explained that waiting lists had been an issue, especially regarding Healthy Minds. There is an ongoing cycle of national investment around increasing the number of people going through IAPT services, which had presented a challenge from a workforce and workplace perspective. A recovery plan had been put in place focusing on quality of service, recovery outcomes and waiting times. IAPT had been a very fixed and rigid model and the aim is to broaden that model and have more services available for people to access, which would reduce pressure on IAPT.


·        It was noted that in relation to children and young people (CYP) there would be a push at the frontline. Questions would need to be asked as to whether CAMHS (Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services), CLD Trust mental health teams and schools had the resources they need, and that the Integrated Care System (ICS) actually works for Herefordshire.


·        A correction was requested relating to the equality impact assessments in Appendix 2. The sex of respondents had been recorded, but male and female were shown as identities, which they were not. It was requested that male and female are recorded as sex, as under the Equality Act, so that the data was accurate.


·        A point of clarification was made in relation to Appendix 3. Mental health issues were described in the appendix as a recognised disability. It was noted that this is not strictly true and that mental health had specific meaning within the Equality Act and it needed to be specified that it is only if those issues and problems have a substantial effect on how a person or people live their lives.


It was confirmed that the requested amendments would be actioned. It was explained that in relation to CYP access issues there was a specific investment level, which was protected.


·        The increased awareness of mental health issues through classroom discussion among CYP was highlighted. The importance of working in partnerships was raised, with the need to work together with schools, teachers, the police and everybody else - not just the ICS - being noted.


It was agreed the strategy should not be too ICS focused. The success of the mental health sports and schools project was cited as a good example of health services working across schools and building relationships. The increased discussion about mental health issues in the classroom was commended and it was pointed out that schools potentially know children better than the GP when it comes to identifying referral needs.


The recommendation in the report was proposed and seconded and agreed unanimously.


RESOLVED:   That the draft Herefordshire and Worcestershire Mental Health Strategy be endorsed.

Supporting documents: