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Caring for people with complex mental health needs closer to home

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Collaborative working across North Central London (NCL) has successfully reduced the number of patients with complex mental health needs who are placed in rehabilitation facilities outside the area. Keeping patients closer to home means it is easier for family and friends to visit which makes a significant impact on their recovery.

Previously, over 100 patients a year were placed in rehabilitation facilities outside NCL, but this has now stabilised to an average of 40-45 patients at any one point. This reduction has been achieved by setting up an NCL Complex Care Panel which meets weekly, bringing together colleagues from the Integrated Care Board and mental health clinicians from local NHS trusts.

The panel scrutinises referrals for people who need specialist or intensive psychiatric care and, where possible, recommends less restrictive and local options in the community as an alternative to inpatient rehabilitation. This means more people are being cared for closer to home while those who do need this service can receive treatment more quickly.

Daniel Seed, NCL ICB Head of Service of Complex Individualised Commissioning – Mental Health said: “By working together, the panel is making a real difference to people’s mental health recovery, avoiding further admissions, and improving the quality of care they experience.”

For more information please contact: Daniel Seed on