Health bosses’ praise for joint approach to tackle mental health issues in Hartlepool

editorial image

Council and health bosses have come together to urge a joint approach to tackle mental health problems facing older people.

Hartlepool Borough Council audit and governance committee received several presentations as part of its investigation into the provision of preventative mental health services in the town.

The latest section of work focused on the services on offer for older people and included updates from the council, Hartlepool and Stockton Clinical Commissioning Group (HaST CCG), and North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust.

Representatives from the different organisations praised many of the different offers available for people in Hartlepool highlighted by the investigation.

They also urged it was important organisations came together to work for the better of everyone in the community, despite financial issues.

Neil Harrison, council head of safeguarding and specialist services, said they have different support offers ranging from community hub help to primary care and crisis level support.

He added a bid has been submitted alongside the CCG to the digital innovation fund to see if they can get funding around mobilising the mental health workforce and creating a ‘digital wellbeing hub’.

He said: “There’s a direct causation link between good physical health and good mental health, so it’s about link all those services that deliver that, which we want to further develop as part of the bid.”

A joint presentation from NHS trust and CCG bosses said they have done a variety of work around frailty and supporting elderly people with both physical and mental health.

They also highlighted the services on offer at the University Hospital of Hartlepool’s ‘integrated single point of access’.

Paula Swindale, head of strategy and commissioning from HaST CCG, said: “It is a journey we’re on in partnership around managing people’s mental health problems.

“It’s not one organisations responsibility it’s a collective approach. The partnership work is very strong across the CCG and its partners and the voluntary sector.

“What we can achieve and what we have achieved is very much focused around patients and residents. We are now starting to see the rewards of that for the residents of Hartlepool.”

Jon Wright, Promoting Change and Transforming Lives project coordinator, helps run activities for people in need as part of the Waverley Community Project.

He said: “It’s a big achievement for some people to get out of bed on a morning, let alone attend training courses and progression into employment whatever the day may be.

“It’s about offering that progression. It fits the individuals needs and requirements.”

Councillors praised the findings of the health bodies and said it is good news for residents in the town.

Coun Stephen Thomas said: “What we all want to see is for mental health issues to be addressed at the earliest possible opportunity and for the right sort of support and provision to be in place at the earliest possible time.”

Coun Rob Cook said: “One of the problems we’ve got as normal is money and that’s going to prove to be a stumbling block for the future as it is now.

“What we do is over and above what we would normally accept as being a provision for people who have these problems.

“There’s a lot of good work that goes on out there and they don’t get the recognition they really deserve. Without the voluntary sector we’d be snookered.”

Coun Jim Lindridge said: “I’m glad to live in Hartlepool, it’s quite mind-blowing the amount of services that we’re providing.”

Nic Marko , Local Democracy Reporting Service