Mental Health Services
Surrey and Borders Partnership NHS Foundation Trust (SABP) is responsible for mental-health services for Surrey Heath residents. Demands on these services have greatly increased, particularly those involving children and young people. One in ten children and young people have a diagnosable mental-health condition, and Michael knows from his own casework that many families in Surrey Heath are badly affected.
At the bottom of this page you will find a Mental Health booklet with information and advice as to how to look after your mental wellbeing. You will also find a separate booklet with advice drawn up especially for younger people who may be in need of support.
Michael keeps in touch with the Chief Executive of SABP, Graham Wareham, to discuss local services in Surrey Heath. He also raises specific cases of constituents’ concerns on their behalf.
In November 2023, Graham Wareham wrote to Michael regarding the launch of SABP's new five year strategy (attached below) to support the wellbeing of people of all ages across Surrey and north east Hampshire, stating:
"I am delighted to announce publicly the launch of Our Strategy. It is an ambitious five year strategy, focused on meeting the mental health, learning disability and neurodevelopmental needs, as well as drug and alcohol dependency of people of all ages across Surrey and north east Hampshire.
We called it Our Strategy because it has been co-produced. We spent a year engaging with colleagues, people who use the Trust’s services, their families and carers, and of course our valued partners, especially those from across the Surrey Heartlands and Frimley Health and Care systems where we operate.
Our engagement work has focused on understanding what is really important to the people of Surrey and north east Hampshire, the challenges they face in their everyday lives and how can we make sure our mental health, learning disability, neurodiversity and drug and alcohol services are meeting their needs. Supporting people of all ages as early as possible to help them recover quickly, and avoid becoming more seriously unwell, is vitally important as is being able to offer high quality inpatient mental health support in therapeutic settings when this is needed.
The heartbeat of this strategy is its focus on doing everything ‘with’, rather than ‘to’ people who use our services and carers. This is why engagement has been and will be important around the creation of the document, the implementation of the strategy, and the future reflection and review of whether what has been created is successful and helpful to the people we serve.
This true co-production approach is perhaps best exemplified by the move to employ people with lived experience of mental ill health, learning disability, neurodevelopmental condition and who are supported by the trust’s drug and alcohol support services, into new roles across the Trust. This will ensure that their perspectives are included from the earliest stages of planning and discussion, right through to implementation.
Our vision is ‘For a better life’, which applies equally to people who use our services, carers and our staff. To achieve this ambition, we have outlined six strategic ambitions:
1. Provide high quality care – delivering brilliant basics everywhere and providing early intervention and prevention as close to home as possible
2. Have a valued and inclusive workforce – being a compassionate and inclusive organisation that promotes and supports employees’ health and wellbeing
3. Strengthen involvement with people, carers and families – empowering the voices of people who use the trust’s services, their carers and families to help us continuously improve and develop
4. Make the best use of resources – making sure the trust is financially viable and aware of its impact on – and kinder to – the environment
5. Work in partnership – being bold and creative to lead system change with partners and reduce health inequalities across Surrey and north east Hampshire
6. Be a learning organisation – being a beacon for innovation helping employees to grow and earn and embed quality improvement in all that we do.
I am sure you are aware how much demand for our services has increased in the last few years. Needs are changing and we are also seeing far greater complexity in people’s conditions. We must therefore innovate, and I believe this is a strategy that will build this innovation on firm foundations.
I greatly value your support for the work we do and encourage you to find out more about the trust’s strategy. I have attached a copy for your information, and there are further resources on the Strategy, Values and Vision page on our website, including an animation that outlines the key points."
Michael has campaigned for better support for child and adolescent mental-health care, and as part of the five-year funding offer agreed in 2019, mental-health services will receive an additional £2.3 billion a year in real terms by 2023-24. This enables further service expansion and faster access to community and crisis mental-health services for both adults and young people. The Government has committed to increase mental-health spending to 8.9 per cent of all NHS funding.
In the 2021 Spending Review, Michael was encouraged to see a new investment of £150 million in NHS mental-health facilities linked to A&E. Additionally, around £300 million will be spent to complete the programme of replacing mental-health dormitories with single en-suite rooms. This is alongside investment of almost £1 billion extra in community mental-health care for adults with severe mental illness by 2023/24. This will give 370,000 adults and older adults with severe mental illnesses, including eating disorders, greater choice and control over their care and support them to live well in their communities.
In the Government’s Our Plan for Patients, published in September 2022, the Government committed to expanding mental-health support for children at school, given that half of mental-health conditions take root by the age of 14. This included a commitment to boost the number of mental-health practitioners in primary care, and to strengthen mental-health support in schools. It also included a commitment to improve access to NHS talking therapies, and to enhance community support for adults living with severe mental illnesses.
In December 2022, the Government announced £3.6 million of funding for the National Academy of Social Prescribing to support wellbeing, including impacts of loneliness. Social prescribing can help those experiencing grief, addiction, dementia and loneliness through a wide range of community-led social activities, services and opportunities that have proven benefits to people’s health and wellbeing. This can improve healthy living, as well as reduce overprescribing and save capacity for GPs.
In February 2023, Michael welcomed news that the Pioneer Project in Frimley, a short-stay residential unit for children and young people in mental-health crisis, will receive £1,391,000 from the Government.
This funding follows the Government’s recent announcement that it is investing £150 million in NHS mental-health urgent and emergency care services up to April 2025. £143 million will be used to provide new and improved mental-health crisis response infrastructure. This includes schemes such as crisis cafés, houses and hubs in the community.
Michael requested further details about the Pioneer Project and was informed it will deliver a unit for residential short-term placement (up to 12 weeks) for children and young people who have a requirement for intensive mental health and social care support to enable discharge to their usual place of residence. The aim is that children and young people will have an option for short term placement that is out of acute hospital, close to home, and with multidisciplinary support immediately available to them across social care, health, school, and voluntary organisations.
The project will be completed in 2024/25 and will be within the footprint of the Frimley integrated care system.
In August 2023, Michael wrote to the Chief Executive of NHS England and to the Chief Executive of NHS Frimley to ask for an update on the progress of finding a suitable location for the Pioneer Project. He was informed that a project group has been established and NHS Frimley are in the process of appointing a project manager.