Funding to create new mental health services

A new urgent mental health care hub for Lincoln and police ‘places of safety’ for A&E departments will be created thanks to a £700,000 funding boost.

The Lincolnshire Mental Health Crisis Care Concordat was awarded the cash boost by the Department of Health and Social care’s Beyond Places of Safety fund.

Projects include a new urgent mental health care hub at the Peter Hodgkinson Centre in Lincoln supported by Lincolnshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust (LPFT).

This will provide a space for patients and carers to access advice and support from a range of organisations such as housing and homelessness support, relationship advice, debt management, drug and alcohol services, working closely with LPFT mental health services.

It will also create places of safety in accident and emergency departments at Lincoln County Hospital and Pilgrim Hospital, managed by United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust (ULHT).

These will be used by people that may need to be held by the police under Section 136 of the Mental Health Act.

They will offer a suitable alternative to a police cell for anyone that needs to be detained because of concerns for their mental wellbeing, and enable treatment and further assessment by mental health professionals.

These two new facilities will provide an additional resource to the suite already available at Peter Hodgkinson Centre on the Lincoln County Hospital site.

In total 51 projects received funding to improve timely support in the country. They will help relieve pressure on hospitals by reducing unnecessary visits to A&E for those experiencing a crisis.

The projects also include measures to strengthen the long-term support available to those at risk of a mental health crisis and to help prevent relapse.

Work will now start on further developing these proposals and agreeing timescales for when all of the new services will become available.

It is hoped that the new places of safety in A&E will become operational in late autumn this year.

Ian Jerams, Director of Operations at Lincolnshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust said: “We are really pleased to have been awarded this funding as part of the partnership.

“Often when someone is in crisis it is because of a range of factors, not necessarily connected to their mental health wellbeing.”

Rachel Redgrave, STP Mental Health Improvement and Transformation Manager at South West Lincolnshire Clinical Commissioning Group, and Chair of the Lincolnshire Mental Health Crisis Care Concordat said:”A number of agencies including Lincolnshire County Council, Lincolnshire Police and many voluntary sector agencies have contributed to achieving this exciting opportunity for Lincolnshire.

“The hub will take joint working to a new level, by co-locating health and social care, police and ambulance services as well as voluntary and charitable organisations.

“We will be able to offer our most vulnerable co-ordinated access to a greater range of services.”

The new projects come after the announcement that a North Hykeham mental health ward will receive a £2 million refurbishment.