Views needed on improving access to health services for anxiety and depression

Tue 09th July 2013


North Tyneside’s new clinical commissioning group is seeking the views of local people on how it can better support people with common mental health disorders such as anxiety and depression.

As the new commissioners of healthcare and health services for local people, NHS North Tyneside Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is looking at how to improve access to talking therapies (psychology, counselling, and group work), which support people who experience mental health issues such as anxiety disorders or depression as an alternative to taking medication or sometimes together with medical treatment.

Dr Ruth Evans, NHS North Tyneside CCG’s clinical director for mental health said local people had benefited from a North Tyneside  talking therapies service since 2009 which is provided by Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust – and the CCG was now looking to make some changes in the way the service is offered to patients.

Dr Evans said: “This is a really important service for local people – we know that more people are experiencing mental health issues as part of the impact the economic climate has on them personally and so we are seeking the views of local people on how we can make improvements to the current service model and we would like as many people as possible to respond to our survey.

Dr Evan’s continued: “We’ve decided to make some changes after receiving comments about the service from local GPs and members of the public. In particular, about the need to provide faster access to it and also to make access as easy as possible for people who need to use the service.

I’d encourage anyone who has had experiences of low level mental health issues such as anxiety and depression to spare five minutes of their time to tell us what is important to them and so we can develop a new service specification that reflects the issues that patients feel strongly about.”

Local people can find a link to the survey here.

Alternatively a paper copy can be requested by telephoning: 0191 217 2758.

This will include a stamped addressed envelope to allow the survey’s easy return.

All responses are confidential and will only be used to inform how local services can be improved which will form the basis for a new service to be procured for North Tyneside. Because the CCG is making some changes to the service it means that under procurement rules it must go out to tender, giving the existing provider and new providers the opportunity to apply for the contract.

NHS North Tyneside Clinical Commissioning Group is the new statutory health body, which took over responsibility for planning and commissioning NHS healthcare and health outcomes for local people on April 1, 2013.

NHS North Tyneside CCG is made up of doctors, nurses and other health professionals, supported by experienced health service managers. The borough’s 29 GP practices are members of the CCG, working with a range of other healthcare professionals to ensure the right local NHS services are in place to meet the needs of North Tyneside’s 206,798 population.