For several years we have been working with a number of Out of Hours GP Hubs where we see patients for 30 minute appointments in GP surgeries or hospitals to talk about their mental health. Patients, GP's and Doctor's receptionists can book directly into our slots and working in partnership, means we can read GP notes and make an entry into their clinical record.  We get to see people at a far earlier stage in their illness and can carry out brief interventions or refer on to statutory or voluntary sector mental health services. Early intervention usually results in much better outcomes.

Experience has shown that there is a big demand amongst GP patients for a service which looks in more depth at their mental health and is able to work in conjunction with GP's and other services to deliver a holistic approach.  The value of working in primary care is recognised across the county and daytime services are being rolled out in several areas.  Our first daytime service started in January 2019 in Basingstoke where we ran a pilot with Chineham Surgery.  This was so successful that we were given funding for a full-time post from North Hampshire Clinical Commissioning Group to cover all of the Primary Care Networks in Basingstoke, starting in April this year.  We have also recently secured further funding from Chineham Surgery to employ another part-time worker who is also now in post.

We are now moving forward with daytime services in other areas as well. We have obtained funding from West Hampshire CCG to provide two part-time Well-being Practitioners and a Peer Worker in Andover surgeries. Also we have recently started our new Mental Health Community Connectors in Aldershot & Farnborough.  This is part of a much larger Frimley Transformation project funded by NHS England. We are also hoping to secure funding from North Hants CCG for a worker in Fleet Medical Centre, having carried out a successful pilot there, so watch this space.

Our work in primary care has been disrupted by Covid-19, with the suspension of long-standing clinics in Winchester and Andover. Romsey Hub has continued, however, and we are working remotely with patients carrying out telephone consultations. We hope to get back in to surgeries soon and expect the Andover and Winchester Hubs to get going again as the lockdown eases further.  Our daytime services are working remotely with telephone and video call consultations. We have seen a surge in demand during the lockdown and, in Andover, since the beginning of April we have had 236 referrals.

In the present environment, we can see great demand from GP practices going forward.  This could potentially also increase the numbers coming through our Well-being Centres as onward referrals from our primary care staff grow in number.  The two services can therefore work well together for the benefit of the community.

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