A new NHS-led service providing improved access to mental health services for Sefton residents has now launched (1 April 2015).
The service, called Access Sefton, is being delivered in partnership by Cheshire and Wirral Partnership NHS Foundation Trust (CWP) and Insight Healthcare on behalf of the borough’s two clinical commissioning groups (CCGs).
Access Sefton provides Improved Access to Psychological Therapies – widely known as IAPT – for common mental health problems such as anxiety, stress, feeling low in mood or depression to people aged 16 or over who live in the borough. Access Sefton replaces the existing IAPT service, and will support both GP referred patients and people who self-refer.
Sheena Cumiskey, CWP chief executive, said: “We are delighted to be providing this new service and are confident that Access Sefton will enable people to seek help early on, enabling them to maintain their lifestyle without any negative impact on their day to day lives.
“We will be working closely with local GPs and Clinical Commissioning Groups to make sure that we provide the best quality of care for all referrers, and will ensure that the transition for current staff and service users is as smooth as possible. It’s great that this type of service will remain with the NHS.”
NHS South Sefton CCG and NHS Southport and Formby CCG have been working closely with CWP and Insight over the past few months to ensure a seamless change to the new service for patients.
Dr Hilal Mulla, mental health clinical lead for NHS Southport and Formby CCG, said: “The service will continue to run from the same locations, so existing patients won’t notice any changes to the high quality of therapies they receive. In the future however, Access Sefton will make it easier for people to get help and support at the time they need it because the new service can offer more flexible support than before.”
Dr Clive Shaw, chair of NHS South Sefton CCG, added: “For the first time Sefton residents will be able to self-refer into this service if they’d prefer, rather than having to go to their GP. Access Sefton will also support people with a much wider range of conditions, such as those with long term conditions.”
Richard Carlton-Crabtree, Insight’s director of services, said: “Mental health issues are more common than many of us might think, and early access to effective talking therapies can make a huge difference in times of need. As the UK’s largest not for profit provider of talking therapies we are looking forward to collaborating with CWP on this service and bringing our experience to Sefton for the benefit of local people.”
IAPT therapies can include a mix of face to face and telephone consultations, computer assisted treatments and courses/workshops.
Sefton residents aged over 16 who would like to know more about Access Sefton should contact or visit www.insighthealthcare.org/accesssefton.