DOCTORS will receive a funding boost of nearly half a million pounds for mental health services in Solihull.
NHS England is giving the local Clinical Commissioning Group £492,000 for treatment at the Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust and local mental health charities.
The funding will go towards supporting Solar in Solihull, which gives emotional support to children and teenagers, and will now offer appointments on Saturdays.
Other beneficiaries will be the young people experiencing mental health crises needing round-the-clock care for up to three days at a time, with the provision of an extra community-based bed.
More people who have been bereaved, having experienced the death of a relative or friend, being supported by Cruse Bereavement Care, the charity dedicated to supporting children, young people and adults.
Homeless people experiencing a mental health crisis having a secure place to stay for a short while thanks to a rise in supported accommodation places. These will reduce the likelihood of people having to go to A&E, reducing pressure during a busy time of year.
Access to mental health advice and support over the phone will be broadening as staffing is increased for Birmingham and Solihull’s Community Mental Health Teams’ crisis helpline.
Patients at talking-therapy sessions, which will be delivered by several providers including Living Well Consortium and Change Brief Therapy.
Joanne Carney, NHS Birmingham and Solihull CCG’s Director of Joint Commissioning responsible for mental health, said: “Winter is a tough time for many of us, especially for those vulnerable to mental distress.
“This funding award is great news for Birmingham and Solihull and will mean we can do more for more people. The extra levels of support and care we will be able to provide will also relieve pressure on services that experience increased demand at this time of year.”
Helen Wadley, Chief Executive Officer of Birmingham Mind, added: “I am really pleased that Change Brief Therapy and Cruse Birmingham are both part of Birmingham’s Winter Pressure successful bid.
“Third sector organisations came together really quickly and came up with innovative pathways to add value to the support Birmingham Mind already delivers through its Crisis Cafes.”
Giles Tinsley, programme director for mental health at NHS England and NHS Improvement in the Midlands said: “Mental health is a key priority for the NHS, as laid out in the Long Term Plan, so we are delighted to see health systems like Birmingham and Solihull working together to provide the very best care in this area for their most vulnerable patients.
“These ambitious plans, set out by the CCG and its partners, will have a huge impact on the people they serve, all while reducing pressure at an incredibly busy time for our urgent care services. We are pleased to have been able to grant this funding, and will continue to support the systems’ work to ensure its safe and effective delivery.”
Elaine Murray, Associate Director of Operations, Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust, said: “The winter pressure funding will enable Solar to provide appointments on a Saturday that will ensure a flexible offer for families who are unable to take time out of work or school.”