Report critical of mental health services in Thurrock

Thurrock Council Offices

By Local Democracy Reporter
Steve Shaw

THURROCK Council is looking to transform adult mental health services after it was revealed that the majority of service users have not received the treatment they expected.

A report from Thurrock Council states that 88 per cent of service users felt unsupported in their mental health issue and describes existing services as “fragmented”.

To tackle this, the council has been working with Thurrock’s clinical commissioning group and the NHS to transform how services are delivered.

Their priorities include improving access to treatment by creating a new community crisis centre. It will be open 24 hours a day and enable people to access specialist care by calling 111.

Funding for the project is expected to be approved in the coming months and it will go into operation at the end of the year.

A new treatment model will also be introduced for common disorders like depression, anxiety and panic disorders.

The council report states: “There is an unacceptable level of variation in the clinical management of common mental health disorders between different GP surgeries, with many surgeries failing to review newly diagnosed residents with depression in a timely manner.

“The clinical commissioning group’s primary care development team in conjunction with Healthcare Public Health staff need to address this variation and improve performance.”

It goes on to outline a series of changes including encouraging GPs to refer patients with common disorders to Public Health commissioned activisty programmes, due to physical activity havign a positive effect on mental health.

There will also be efforts to encompass mental health treatment with treatment for long term physical health conditions because of a proven link between the two.

Key to this will be the four new medical centres that are planned for the borough. The centres, which will replace Orsett Hospital, will give the council the opportunity to “integrate mental health treatment provision with physical long term condition services”.

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