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NHS grant will 'transform' mental health care in Tower Hamlets

PUBLISHED: 17:00 01 October 2019

The NHS funding will help transform mental health support in the area. Picture: ELFT

The NHS funding will help transform mental health support in the area. Picture: ELFT

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Mental health care in Tower Hamlets will be radically transformed thanks to a major cash boost announced by NHS chiefs.

East London Foundation Trust (ELFT) will receive a slice of the £70million pot being shared by 12 NHS sites under the Transformation Fund, which aims to improve the availability and quality of mental health care.

The aim is to remove boundaries between primary and secondary care, helping patients get better support closer to home.

ELFT will launch its pilot in Tower Hamlets, Newham, Hackney and the City working with councils, doctors and voluntary organisations.

It will create teams of psychiatrists, psychologists, nurses, social workers and peer support workers who will work with primary care clinicians, social prescribers, clinical pharmacists and community health services to offer "wraparound" support.

People with moderate to severe illnesses will get improved access to therapies, physical health care, employment support, personalised and trauma-informed care, medicine management and support for self-harm and substance misuse.

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They will also be helped to take part in community-based activities that promote good mental wellbeing through music, fitness and the arts, and receive help with housing and finances.

ELFT chief executive Dr Navina Evans said: "For the first time ever, primary care networks will be empowered to support people holistically.

"People will be supported to achieve their life goals, beyond the narrow remit of a mental health care plan alone.

"This is genuinely transforming the way we deliver health care."

Jane Milligan, accountable officer for the NHS clinical commissioning groups across all the areas, added: "The announcement of this funding is great news for east London, and particularly for those living in our area who require support from mental health care services.

"The life expectancy of people with severe mental illnesses can be up to 20 years lower than the general population, and that's why improving the care and support available at a local level is a key priority for us and our partners."

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