A network including NHS Trusts across the south of England and an Oxfordshire-based charity have won a bid to improve care for adults with mental health problems who require care in a secure setting.

Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust led the successful application to develop a new model of care for low and medium secure adult mental health services. The Trust will be leading services across one of the six sites testing new approaches to delivering mental health care nationwide.

This initiative is part of NHS England’s greater investment and commitment to mental health care nationally, as set out in the ‘Implementing the Five Year Forward View for Mental Health’, which is published today.

Under the initiative led by Oxford Health, seven organisations which specialise in providing mental health care will work together to coordinate inpatient and community-based services across Buckinghamshire (including Milton Keynes), Oxfordshire, East and West Berkshire, Hampshire, the Isle of Wight, and Dorset. The new network aims to provide care closer to home and reduce the need for hospital admissions and out-of-area treatments.

The organisations making up the network are:

  • Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust
  • Berkshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust
  • Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust
  • Central and Northwest London NHS Foundation Trust
  • Solent NHS Trust
  • Dorset HealthCare University NHS Foundation Trust
  • Response, an Oxfordshire-based charity that provides home-based mental health care

People needing the ‘forensic’ mental health services provided by this new network experience a range of illnesses, personality disorders, substance misuse problems and neurodevelopmental disorders, and specialist care is required to manage their risk of harm to others.

Stuart Bell, Oxford Health’s Chief Executive, said: “We are thrilled to have led the application to provide a new model of care where the focus is on safe and effective treatment, organised around patients’ needs, and developing the secure care pathway.”

“This network of seven organisations aims to deliver outcomes that matter to patients, supporting their recovery and reducing the risk they might pose to others.”

“Collaboration between care providers across the region means that we are better placed to provide care closer to home, minimise transitions between services, and make such transitions as smooth as possible.”

This initiative is part of NHS England’s Five Year Forward View for Mental Health, which emphasized the need for new mental health care models that promote innovations to produce joined up in-patient and community care. This Forward View also emphasizes the need to eliminate the cost of out-of-area treatments and the importance of providing care in the least restrictive setting, and close to home.

To achieve these aims, earlier this year NHS England invited applications from mental health service providers to manage a number of budgets, including for low and medium secure adult mental health services. The application led by Oxford Health NHS England was one of the successful applications.