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Mental health support to become more accessible for Leicester city patients

26th November 2015 | By Liz Mattock | Posted in

Improvements are being made to a key mental health service for people in Leicester city.

The Open Mind service provides talking therapy treatments for people who are feeling troubled, stressed, anxious or depressed and from April 2016 the service will have a new provider. Leicester City Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) has awarded a five year contract to Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust and the change of provider will also bring new developments to the service, designed to give patients greater choice.

Dr Jawahar, GP and mental health lead for Leicester City CCG, explained: “The current contract for the provision of psychological therapies expires next April and this gave us the opportunity to review the service and make improvements.  We have also incorporated several changes in response to the valuable feedback we received from patients and the public as part of this process, where people told us that they wanted more choice, especially in terms of appointment times and venues.”

Nottinghamshire Healthcare will have the option to subcontract parts of the service to voluntary sector organisations, to ensure equality of access for some of the city’s more diverse and often overlooked populations. Appointments will be offered at a wider range of community venues, as well as at GP practices, and at different times including evenings and weekends, to make it easier for people to access the service. Changes will also be made to ensure that, once patients are in contact with the service, they are offered an initial assessment without delay.

Dr Maureen Tomeny, Clinical Director of Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) and Clinical Psychologist for Nottinghamshire Healthcare said: “We are delighted to be providing our services in Leicester City from April 2016. We will be making several positive changes to the Open Mind service which will include the development of a range of treatment options, such as telephone and online support and group sessions. We will also accept self-referrals over the phone and online, essentially making the service easy to access, so that patients do not always have to see a GP first.

“In addition to the IAPT service, we will also be providing a Primary Care Mental Health Facilitator service that will offer a comprehensive assessment for adults with complex mental health problems who are not already receiving secondary care support.

“We look forward to delivering the service in Leicester and will be focusing our efforts on ensuring a smooth transition and providing an excellent service.”

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