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Mental health care pathway consultation

Introduction and policy background

The wider council policy context

As a council, our over-arching aim is to improve the lives of the people of Bath & North East Somerset. Giving people a bigger say in what we do, and how we do it, is a central part of this commitment. This consultation gives you an opportunity to learn about, and comment on, our proposals for organising and providing community-based mental health care and support in our area. 

The health and social care context

Right now, we commission specialist care and support on an ad-hoc basis for adults aged 18 to 64 with Care Act eligible and complex mental ill health needs. This means that we have no strategic, contractual arrangements with organisations who provide these services. We expect that the need for mental health care and support in the community will grow in coming years. We therefore want to plan a more stable and consistent basis for the delivery of this very important care.

The problems we are hoping to address

Our experience, and the feedback we have had from service users, carers, professionals and the organisations we work with, all show that our current arrangements are not meeting needs as well as we would like. Our working proposal will aim to improve problems such as the following:

  • For service users and carers

    Under our current arrangements, it may be a long and difficult process to find the right care and support for you. The experience of moving between services can be abrupt and poorly supported, and have a negative effect on your recovery or your family.

  • For social and support workers

    We don't currently have clear recovery accommodation and support pathways in place for people with mental ill health, to regain their independence after periods of treatment or hospital stays. This may have the following impacts on the support you can provide for the people you work with:

    • Finding it more difficult to discuss and plan for recovery
    • Longer hospital placements, while alternative arrangements are made
    • Spending a relatively long time going through multiple rehab services
    • Losing a sense of continuity, purpose or progress
    • Staying in supported living accommodation for longer than necessary
  • For care provider organisations

    Our current model may offer less stability than you would like. You may find it difficult to predict and plan for the number of referrals you will receive from us. This, in turn, may make it hard to grow your services, in line with how we expect the sector might need, based on population trends.