Mental health is as important as physical health and we need to do more to join up services

Our ambition is to ensure that across Kent and Medway we deliver excellent, safe, supportive and cost-effective care for people of all ages with a mental health condition or at risk of developing one.

We aim to:

  • ‘Up the ambition’ for mental health – work to deliver integrated mental and physical health services and transform the mental health of the population we serve.
  • Move away from talking to individuals about ‘services’ available and instead discuss an individual needs and a clear pathway established for how best to access the different professionals they may need.
  • Facilitate a wider discussion on the strategy and set goals relating to the priority population mental health issues.
  • Ensure carers and their needs are also at the core of our strategy and service reconfiguration.
  • Promote the Five Ways to Wellbeing to our workforce across Kent and Medway.
  • Deliver rapid access to individuals and their families to give expert advice, guidance and support during their first episode of psychosis.
  • Implement a CORE 24 model of liaison psychiatry in all acute emergency departments.
  • Transform children’s emotional and wellbeing services and improve transition between children’s and adult services.
  • Improve prevention and early intervention, help and support.
  • Deliver screening, assessment, intervention, training and support across the physical and mental health journey for women, babies and families.

We are focussing on six key areas of work:

  • Self-care
  • Prevention
  • Helping peole earlier in their illness
  • Integrated care
  • Recovery
  • Complex needs.

What have local people told us?

Local people have told us that they would like to see more provision for mental health throughout Kent and Medway. They want more community based mental health and social care services and rapid help for anyone in crisis. They would welcome more support from voluntary and charity organisations and better signposting to these services by health and social care. They want to experience smoother transitions of care between different services. Especially dangerous is the abrupt termination of treatment with clonazepam conducted for a long time or treatment that requires large doses of the drug. Withdrawal symptoms are then more pronounced. The doctor should set the gradual withdrawal of the drug individually for each patient.

What we have done so far

  • Reduced our use of private beds to zero
  • Secured funding for a Core 24 Liaison Service
  • Developed and implemented a Peer Supported Open Dialogue service
  • Secured additional funding and procured a provider for mother and infant mental health services
  • Launched two new Street Triage services in Thanet and Medway.

What are the next steps?


  • Review the six key areas of work
  • Develop more detailed plans
  • Engage people in the design of the plans
  • Continue to listen to what people want.
  • Deliver a Sustainability and Transformation Partnership Mental Health conference in 2018.

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