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Meeting 4: Mental Health Services

The fourth Stakeholder Reference Group (SRG) for the Moving Forward Together (MFT) Programme took place on Wednesday the 24th of January. The Group of 12 patient, service user and carer representatives (details at the end) heard a presentation from and engaged in discussion about how Mental Health services are undergoing transformation to meet the current and future needs of people across Greater Glasgow and Clyde 

Dr Michael Smith, Lead Associate Medical Director and David Walker, Head of Operations (South) presented and spoke about the Adult Mental Health Services Strategy for Great Glasgow and Clyde. This looked at the dramatic shift from what used to be primarily an inpatient hospital service to one that was delivered locally and supported people within their communities. Also in line with national strategy local plans were to continue shift services to provide more in the community and also to have a greater focus on prevention and improve the culture towards and access to recovery services.

It was explained that as well as enhanced community services the reduction in beds would be supported by teams across Glasgow and Clyde who would provide input across unscheduled care settings to those in crisis. The aim of this was to provide more support to prevent admission and help with discharge so people could live independently and safely at home - the setting where people say that they’d rather be. However to reduce inpatient beds there needs to be investment in alternative forms of health and social care with system-wide commitment and transformational monies to initiate them 

The group members then asked questions and led discussion on a number of topics and asked about psychological support for specific physiological conditions or age ranges; however they also welcomed the shift to provide more services in the community that were open access to all people. They queried how people would know about these services, especially those with no prior experience and said more needs to be done to inform other services and communities about them. They also agreed that more services aimed at prevention, especially those for children and young people were required, but recognised that this needs tackled though wider and governmental initiatives.

They questioned the loss of inpatient beds and asked about the planned services that would support people to be treated at home and recognised that there was not going to be a reduction in beds for those in crisis or requiring specialist support. They discussed the need for cultural change in how people view mental health services and how they are informed about, access and eventually leave them.  They recognised the role of the third sector and other approaches like peers support, but that they were increasingly facing financial pressures and looking at where and how resources are allocated would be welcomed. Also that more needs done to inform communities, but that they could also play a role in changing culture and communication.

For a fill commentary please follow the link below.