To receive a report from the Head of Democratic Services presenting information from local health and care providers on the impacts and future implications of Covid-19 on mental health services across the city, including relevant updates on issues previously considered by the Board.
The Head of Democratic Services submitted a report that presented information from local health and care providers on the impacts and future implications of Covid-19 on mental health services across the city, including relevant updates on issues previously considered by the Board.
The following documents were appended to the report:
- Report of the Director of Adults and Health on the implementation of the Leeds All Age Mental Health Strategy (including a copy of the Leeds Mental Health Strategy 2020-2025)
- Report of the Executive Director of Operations (Leeds Community Healthcare NHS Trust) and Head of Service (Leeds Mental Wellbeing Service) on the Leeds Mental Wellbeing Service and the impact of Covid-19
- Report of the Director of Operations North Yorkshire and York on the progress made in implementing the new enhanced community model for Adult Mental Health (AMH) and Mental Health Services for Older People (MHSOP) as part of the Harrogate and Rural District Transformation programme with particular emphasis on Wetherby
The following were in attendance:
- Councillor Rebecca Charlwood, Executive Member for Health, Wellbeing and Adults
- Cath Roff, Director of Adults and Health
- Caroline Baria, Deputy Director (Integrated Commissioning)
- Kashir Ahmed, Head of Commissioning (Mental Health and Learning Disabilities), NHS Leeds CCG
- Caroline Townsend, Senior Commissioning Manager (Mental Health), NHS Leeds CCG
- Sam Prince, Executive Director of Operations, Leeds Community Healthcare NHS Trust
- Alison Kenyon, Associate Director, Leeds and York Partnership Foundation Trust
- Naomi Lonergan, Director of Operations (North Yorkshire and York), Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys NHS Foundation Trust
The Head of Commissioning (NHS Leeds CCG) delivered a PowerPoint presentation, which provided an overview of challenges as a result of impact of COVID-19, along with key work streams in place to respond to the crisis across the city. It was highlighted that there was an initial reduction in demand for mental health services, however in recent months, demand has risen significantly and is expected to continue to do so, particularly for patients presenting acutely and those who, prior to the pandemic, have had no contact with secondary care for over 12 months.
Members discussed a number of matters, including:
· Encouraging people to access support services. In response to a query, Members were advised that work is ongoing to monitor the access to services by groups, along with focused communication campaigns around winter wellbeing and reiterating that services are available for people who are experiencing difficulties. Additionally, recognising cultural differences in access to mental health services, Members requested that further data be circulated depicting trends for access to mental health services within BAME communities.
· Support for prisoners. In response to a query, Members were advised that each prison has a separate mental health service commissioned by NHS England, however additional support and transfers are provided by the Leeds and York Partnership Foundation NHS Trust when required.
· Wellbeing of care home residents. Following the introduction of the new alert level system by government, Members sought clarity on whether care home visits will be prohibited, should Leeds move up to Tier 3. Members were advised that Tier 3 would not initiate a blanket ban on all care home visits, and that care homes would be required to complete risk assessment for every resident, based on their own needs and those of other residents and staff.
· Consultation with service users around digital support. Members recognised the benefits of digital services to allow for support to continue safely, however also noted that for some, digital appointments and support may act as a barrier to their progress. Members were advised that providers aim to accommodate the individual needs of every service user. Partners are participating in a number of national studies to understand the experiences of digital services, as well as conducting local Leeds system level research.
· Anxiety associated with COVID-19. Members recognised that the pandemic has caused increased anxieties for the wider population, as well as those with existing conditions, and sought more clarity on the specific support available. Members were advised that partners have introduced bereavement counselling specifically for those who have lost loved ones during the pandemic, support for carers of shielded groups, and programmes to address the psychological impact on people who have spent time in intensive care, as well as primary care workers and other key workers.
· Impact of unemployment on mental health and wellbeing. Members noted that the continued rise in unemployment, particularly in the most deprived areas of the city, will require specific support from mental health and wellbeing services. Members were advised that the Leeds Mental Health Strategy 2020-2025 includes a strand focused on supporting people into employment, education and training.
RESOLVED – That the contents of the report and presentation, along with Members comments, be noted.