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Norfolk County Council awards contract which will transform services for adults with mental health needs in Norfolk

03 October 2017

Following a year of consultation and working with service users Norfolk County Council has awarded new contracts worth £2.85 million per year to deliver Adult Social Services funded mental health services in the community across Norfolk. The new contracts to deliver this service, which will support over 700 people at any one time will start on 1 March 2018, and the process to ensure a smooth transition will begin immediately.

Norfolk County Council and the five Norfolk & Waveney NHS Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) have been working together with the mental health trust, service users and carers, and organisations which provide services to transform services for adults with mental health needs in Norfolk. 

Bill Borrett, Chair of Adult Social Services Committee said:

“This has been a great opportunity for us to re-focus the service so that we are concentrating more on rehabilitation and reablement. We want to enable people to live well at home and regain their independence which the new service will achieve by joining up with services that already exist within local areas. We know that many people will live with their mental health condition for the rest of their lives, but with the right treatment and support we can reduce the impact their mental health condition has on their everyday life and support them to move them towards greater independence.”

All services where a new provider has come into place the transition of care for individuals is paramount and we understand that this can be an unsettling time for both service users and their families. Over the next five months arrangements will be made for packages of care to be maintained and transferred to the new service. Communications will be key in us ensuring that everybody is well informed and understands what the changes in service mean for them.

The new contracts have grouped services into three geographical areas, with an additional community based intensive support service in the Greater Norwich area. The localities are:

  • West Norfolk CCG area
  • Central Norfolk (North and South Norfolk and Norwich CCG)
  • Great Yarmouth locality 
  • Greater Norwich (intensive support)

The new provider is a partnership of local mental health providers, led by Together for Mental Wellbeing. The other partners include West Norfolk Mind, Norwich and Central Norfolk Mind, Great Yarmouth Mind, and St Martins Housing Trust.  Between them they currently work with around three quarters of the people using the services included in the old contracts but have developed a completely new model of services based on input from service users and staff.

Cashain David, Director of Operations and Development for Together for Mental Wellbeing, said: “We are very pleased to be continuing our support for people in Norfolk, building on the work we have done in the county over the past three and a half years. We will continue to work closely with Norfolk County Council and the CCGs to implement this new model of support. We are particularly looking forward to working with our new partners to continue supporting people to live as independently as possible in their local community, and to make the most of the community resources available in Norfolk.” 

For political comment:
Cllr Bill Borrett (Conservative) Chairman of the Adult Social Care Committee, on 01362 860200
Cllr Mike Sands (Labour), on 07557 634894
Cllr Brian Watkins (Liberal Democrat) on 01603 259306

Notes to editor:

Norfolk County Council currently spends around £14 million each year on social care services for people of working age who have mental health needs. When we talk about mental health needs this means people who suffer with one or more complex mental health problems such as schizophrenia, depression/anxiety, phobias, bi polar or personality disorder. For some people their mental health needs are complicated by long term physical health conditions or by drug or alcohol misuse.
  
The new contract brings together three types of services - these services support over 700 people at any one time and cost around £2.85 million each year this includes:

  •  Seven supported housing schemes across Norfolk. The schemes support up to 93 people at any one time, with Norfolk County Council buying the support from an external organisation. These schemes do not offer permanent homes but are a stepping stone to increased independence.  These schemes are mostly staffed 24/7 and support people living in these schemes with the following:      
  1. Developing the ability to plan their day and activities
  2. Daily living skills such as budgeting, and cooking
  3. Establishing a home and understanding the expectations of being a good neighbour/tenant.
  4. Managing and improving their mental and physical health
  5. Accessing benefits, health and community care services
  6.  Establishing and maintaining social support and using social and leisure opportunities in the wider community
  7. Managing drug and alcohol use
  8. Identifying move on accommodation and accessing housing registers/options
  9. Accessing education, training, volunteering opportunities and paid employment.
  • Housing related floating support which supports between 330 and 380 people at any one time in their own homes. This service also works with people who are in a mental health hospital bed and who have housing problems, including homelessness. The range of issues this type of service supports people with is similar to those covered by supported housing. Norfolk County Council and the CCGs together fund the service.
  •  Personal assistant services purchased by Norfolk County Council from a range of organisations. These support people to manage their mental health and live independently in their own homes. The services support people with building up their community networks and use of community services. These services support around 190 people at any one time.
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