Strategic reviews of community and mental health services

North Central London CCG plans and pays for a wide range of health and care services in north central London – Barnet, Camden, Enfield, Haringey and Islington.  This includes community health services such as district nursing, podiatry, speech and language therapy for example, as well as mental health services, including talking therapies.

The formation of North Central London CCG in April 2020, following the merger of the five north central London CCGs, has presented us with an opportunity to look at how we can improve services and health outcomes for the residents we serve in each of the five boroughs.

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a huge impact on people’s lives and has been very much the focus of the NHS over the last year and a half. Although this has absorbed our resources and affected delivery of services in some areas such as planned care, it has led to even greater collaboration with our health and care system partners.  Through partnership working with local councils, NHS providers, primary care and voluntary and community organisations, we have been able to respond quickly and decisively in a complex and fast-moving situation. Relationships have strengthened as a result, as has our commitment to working together to improve services and help our residents to stay well and live healthier independent lives.

Read more about community health services in North Central London

Read more about mental health services in North Central London

About the reviews

North Central London CCG is reviewing community health services and mental health services currently provided to residents living in Barnet, Camden, Enfield, Haringey and Islington.

The provision of community health services and mental health services across north central London is varied and complex. For example, waiting times, availability and access to services can differ from borough to borough. We are looking at what services are currently being delivered in each of the boroughs, how these are delivered and whether they meet the health needs of our residents.

Working in partnership with our community and mental health service providers, primary care, local authorities, voluntary and community sectors and service users, carers and residents, our aim is to develop a core service offer which is comprehensive, consistent and equitable for all residents regardless of where they live in north central London.  We also need to make sure that the services we buy offer value for money and are sustainable for the future too.

In line with the vision of the NHS Long Term Plan, our ambition is to move care away from hospitals and closer to people’s homes and communities, placing greater focus on preventing ill health and delivering community and mental health services which are more joined up with GP practices and hospitals, as well as local authority and voluntary sector services. Given the shared purpose and objectives of the reviews and to ensure greater collaboration, as well as the close links between physical health and mental health, we are undertaking the community health services review and mental health services review in parallel as far as possible, with one combined programme steering group, but overseen by two separate Programme Boards.

Progress so far

The initial phase of the review involved detailed data analysis, a workshop and interviews with key stakeholders from local NHS providers and local authorities to understand the current picture of community and mental health services in each of the five north central London boroughs.

From this initial baseline review, reports for both community health services and mental health services have been produced which outline the key findings and themes. This has provided us with a case for change and a basis from which to develop the draft core service offers.

Community health services baseline report

Mental health services baseline report

During the summer months, we undertook extensive engagement with a wide range of stakeholders including clinicians, operational leads and senior leadership from our community and mental health service providers, GPs from primary care, local authority colleagues, voluntary and community sector partners as well as service users and residents. A series of co-design workshops, Resident Reference Group meetings and numerous working groups were held with these stakeholders to help us shape and refine what the core service offers should look like.

Through this extensive co-production and engagement process and by incorporating the feedback we have received, the draft core service offers have now been developed. Principally, the core offers aim to tackle the current variation in service provision and set out the minimum expected level of service our residents can expect to access irrespective of which north central London borough they live in.

It is intended that the core offers will make clear what support is available for our populations whether for children and young people, working age adults or older people.  It will also detail how a service can be accessed, whether by self-referral or referral from a health professional, and where it will be provided, such as in a community clinic, hospital, care home or patient’s home, for example.

The core service offers are intended to be aspirational and set out our vision for community and mental health services. When fully implemented, we anticipate these will go some way to achieve our ambition of addressing the inequity of service access and health outcomes which currently exist across north central London.

At present, we are assessing and working through the potential impact of implementing the core service offers against a number of areas including access, inequalities, quality, workforce and finance.

Next steps

Once the impact assessment phase is complete, we will co-develop transition plans to support the implementation of the core offers.  Co-development with our Borough sector partners, local residents, service users, carers and families remains essential.

We will continue to work with our health and care partners at both a north central London integrated care system level and a borough integrated care partnership level to consider how best to implement the core offers and to agree a timeline for transition.

An update will be submitted to the CCG Governing Body for discussion in December 2021.

Find out more about how we have engaged with our residents