New high street hubs Keystone to mental health care in Oxfordshire

Keystone Mental Health & Wellbeing Hubs are to open up in town centres and communities across Oxfordshire

Ground-breaking NHS and community mental health hubs are to open in high streets across Oxfordshire.

In a move to transform adult mental health care, a series of Keystone Mental Health & Wellbeing Hubs are to open up in town centres and communities across the county.

Adults experiencing mental health challenges will be enabled to thrive among friends, family and their community, drawing on support from the hubs which are linked to their local GP surgeries, NHS mental health services, and third-sector mental health services.

The hubs will be home to Primary Care Mental Health Teams – professionals from health and social care including mental health professionals from the NHS, the third-sector and people who have experienced mental health challenges themselves.

Three hubs are launching as part of the initial role out, with the Keystone Mental Health & Wellbeing Hub in Banbury set to launch in Castle Quay Shopping Centre in the coming months. A hub will follow in Abingdon. The Keystone hub in Blackbird Leys and East Oxford opened in November.

A keystone is the central stone, or principle, which holds a building or system together.

Keystone hubs are being developed after adults who use mental health services said they would like to see more specialist care available at local level via their GP surgery, and improved communication between GPs and mental health services and form a core of the strengthening of community mental health services in Oxfordshire.

Clinical Director for Mental Health Services in Oxfordshire at Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust, Dr Rob Bale said:

“Just like with long-term physical health challenges, having an ongoing mental health disorder means that over time some people can experience periods of good mental health and periods where they experience more challenging symptoms. The hubs will be able to respond dynamically to people’s changing needs – making it easier for people to receive the right mental health support for them at the right time.

“Alongside mental health treatment and care the Primary Care Mental Health Teams will facilitate support for adults in other aspects of their life which can be affected by and exacerbate mental health challenges including relationships, leisure and socialising, accommodation, finances, training and education.

“The hubs will be right in the heart of communities – making it really convenient for people who experience ongoing mental health challenges.”

The Keystone hubs are part of a collaborative approach to mental health care for people in Oxforfshire.

Dr David Chapman, Clinical Mental Health Lead for the Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire and Berkshire West Integrated Care Board (which is responsible for commissioning and funding of local health and care services) said:

“Our priority is to help people with serious and complex mental health illness lead better lives with the support they need. Keystone hubs will help these patients by providing them with access to a team of dedicated mental health professionals in their communities across Oxfordshire.

“This new NHS service will also enable GPs to work very closely with health staff in the hubs to ensure their patients receive care and treatment closer to their homes making it easier to get the support they require. We thank everyone who have helped launch the service locally which will make a difference to improving patient care.

“This transformation of mental health services is part of the national trend to create better NHS mental health care for patients in local communities up and down the country including in Buckinghamshire and Berkshire West. We will work closely with the local NHS, care partners and GPs to make this happen and ensure patients get the support they need.”

Tom Hayes, Chief Executive of Elmore Community Services, said:

“Third-sector mental health services such as Elmore’s play a crucial role in mental health care, providing support to people with mental ill health closer to their homes and communities. Our caseworkers work closely with our NHS colleagues to provide flexible and person-centred support and develop the new Integrated Care Systems and Primary Care Networks. Elmore is proud to be supporting the new mental health hubs and belong to the Oxfordshire Mental Health Partnership.”

Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust is in the process of developing additional Keystone Hubs on Cowley Road, Kidlington and Wantage.

How do you rate this page?

Thank you for your feedback

Follow us on social media to stay up to date

We are sorry you did not find this page helpful

Tell us how we can improve this page

Published: 26 January 2023