Mental Health is one of NHCPs key priorities and it has now set out further detail on the steps being taken to drive improved mental health outcomes for the people of Northamptonshire.

In a presentation to the NHCP Partnership Board in January the scale of the mental health challenge in our county and the implications of the COVID-19 pandemic on future mental health need was highlighted.

Building on the significant progress already made in mental health transformation over the past five years, the current and future focus for mental health is on addressing inequalities and a ‘population health’ approach (looking at how all aspects of a person’s life can have an impact on – or be impacted by – their mental health).

The existing mental health transformation work will continue to build within a strategic steering group and will remain focused on continual development and meeting the ambitions of the national NHS Mental Health Long Term Plan. This will be aligned with the structure of our Integrated Care System (ICS), with transformation driven by strong partnership and co-production across three ‘pillars’ of activity within an overall Mental Health Collaborative for Northamptonshire .

1. Mental health prevention
Organised through the Mental Health Prevention Concordat, this pillar ensures an evidence-based approach to mental health prevention, using engagement, intelligence and forecasting to identify opportunities, predict future challenges and take action to prevent ill health wherever possible. It will also work to achieve the zero suicide ambition in in-patient settings and the wider community; ensure carers get the support they need to continue to care with energy and confidence; and prevent relapse or deterioration for those in mental health recovery through continual and co-produced quality improvement.

2. Population mental health
Organised through the Population Mental Health Outcomes Delivery Group, this pillar will focus on all the determinants of mental ill health to coproduce a seamless and outcomesbased mental health offer for all ages in Northamptonshire. Recognising and responding to holistic needs – housing, employment, family and community integration – it will expand mental health access, improve quality and implement new services. All this will be guided by our shared priorities, known as our ‘I Statements’, which have been developed through co-production with our community.

3. Mental health acute and crisis care
Organised through the Acute and Crisis Care Concordat, this pillar will continue to work to provide reliably excellent and compassionate care to those affected by the most challenging and complex mental health issues. It will ensure timely, co-produced care in the least restrictive environment for those in crisis and rapid treatment and aftercare for anyone attending acute hospitals and emergency departments with mental health – plus care and support for the people who care for them.

The programme has been underpinned by a “virtual” system team and the NHCP Board heard and supported how this will transition into a formal leadership group to enable the Northamptonshire ICS to have a strong and resilient focus upon improving mental health for our population.