Citywide mental health contract awarded to transform support across Brighton and Hove

NHS Brighton and Hove CCG and Brighton and Hove City Council has awarded a five-year ‘Community Roots’ contract to local housing, care and support provider, Southdown, to transform non-clinical mental health services across the city.

The first of its kind in Sussex, the citywide contract (which starts in October 2019) brings together 16 separate organisations to strengthen, develop and integrate mental health support for different levels of need. 

As ‘lead provider’, Southdown will work collaboratively with local mental health providers, people accessing support, their families, carers and the wider health and care system (both clinical and other non-clinical services) to develop a network of integrated support incorporating existing services.

The not-for-profit organisation will also lead on a phased transformation of support over the coming years, including the development of new services and initiatives.

Services provided as part of Community Roots will include a ‘central point of access’ for support, mental health awareness and promotion initiatives, prevention and early help interventions, crisis prevention support and intensive support for people with a range of mental health support needs.The ‘single point of access’ will offer a phone number people can call to get advice, guidance and be linked into local support. A dedicated website will also be available, which will include information on local services and a search function to find nearby support.       

Linda Harrington, Commissioning Manager at NHS Brighton & Hove CCG, says, “Community Roots is an excellent opportunity to transform mental health and wellbeing support in the City; building on evidence and existing good practice. A key objective will be to improve access to support, with the service working with partners to develop a more integrated and co-ordinated network of mental health services based on the ‘no wrong door’ principle. This will be supported with a ‘central point of access’ telephone number and website, which people can use to get the help they need.”

Dr Becky Jarvis, GP Clinical Lead for Mental Health at NHS Brighton & Hove CCG, added, “We’re delighted to be working with Southdown to deliver the service, their local knowledge and relationships will prove invaluable to develop and embed support that meets local communities and people’s needs.”             

Councillor Clare Moonan, Chair of Brighton & Hove City Council’s Health and Wellbeing Board, says, “Mental health knows no boundaries; people across the city and in all walks of life can be affected. This new partnership will mean more support is available for people when and where they need it. We’re really looking forward to working with the partnership and linking services to promote mental wellbeing for all.”

Neil Blanchard, Chief Executive at Southdown, says, “It’s a real privilege to be part of this exciting stage of mental health development for Brighton and Hove. Poor mental health affects a quarter of the population and people of all ages yet with effective promotion, prevention and early intervention its impact can be reduced dramatically. Whilst we don’t underestimate the challenges ahead, we’re confident – together with our partners including people accessing services – that we can promote good mental health and wellbeing for all living across the City.”