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NHS funding to 'transform' mental health in East Berkshire

New NHS funding is set to ‘transform community mental health’ in East Berkshire.

The service is designed to improve access to a range of specialist support, such as extended appointments with mental health experts, plus access to therapies, physical health checks and pharmacists.

Patients will be able to explore the situation affecting their wellbeing, including loneliness or debt, and guided to resources that may help.

The Frimley Health and Care Integrated Care System – of which East Berkshire is part of - has been awarded £5.2m from a total of £70m set aside by NHS England to transform community mental health care in twelve ‘early implementer’ areas.

The Berkshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust and Surrey and Borders Partnership NHS Foundation Trust will lead the implementation over the next two years.

The new funding will enable the Trusts to expand upon trials which Surrey and Borders Partnership has been leading in three primary care networks in West Surrey over the past six months.

Primary care networks are groups of GP practices working together.

This service, known as GPimhs [General Practice Integrated Mental Health Service], is to be scaled up and extended across eight further areas including East Berkshire.

Services are expected to be up and running by the end of the financial year as part of a gradual roll-out.

Susanna Yeoman, divisional director for mental health services at the Berkshire Trust said: “This focus on high quality and accessible mental health services in local communities is a significant step towards improving care for people with mental health issues. The shift towards this integrated approach will begin to address health inequalities and ensure people can access timely support.”


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