Mental Health First programme launches in South Cheshire GPs

04 March 2019

A new initiative to provide people with mental health difficulties improved access to support has been launched in three GP practices in Cheshire.

The Mental Health First programme sees the introduction of mental health experts from Cheshire and Wirral Partnership NHS Foundation Trust (CWP) into local GP practices. This on-site presence will allow patients with mental health difficulties such as depression and anxiety speak directly with a mental health practitioner upon first appointment – rather than wait for a GP referral into mental health and wellbeing services.

Following an initial discussion with a mental health expert at the Practice, a patient can then be referred directly into the Central Cheshire Wellbeing Hub (CWP’s talking therapies service, pictured right), ensuring a quicker pathway to ongoing support and more person-focused patient experience.

The programme is supported by the Central Cheshire Integrated Care Partnership (CCICP) – a collaboration between CWP, Mid Cheshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (MCHFT) and the South Cheshire and Vale Royal GP Alliance – and initially launches in Gresty Brook Medical Centre (Crewe), The Tudor Surgery (Nantwich) and Ashfields Primary Care Centre (Sandbach), with a proposed option in Winsford also being explored.

Dr Anushta Sivananthan, Consultant Psychiatrist and CWP Medical Director, said: “I’m delighted by the launch of Mental Health First in Cheshire. Integrating our mental health provision with our GP partners will help us better support the people we serve in the right place at the right time. It’s a step closer to ensuring meaningful parity between mental and physical health across our care communities.”

Joanne Bowen, Head of Nursing, Quality and Professional Leadership at CCICP said: “We are pleased to be part of this great initiative which will enable patients with mental health difficulties to easily access timely local support. This will not only support their mental health but have a significant positive impact on their physical wellbeing.”

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