Go ahead announced for innovative new mental health services in Bristol

Date: 28 May 2014

Category: Services

Bristol Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) have announced the results of a tendering process for the delivery of a new and exciting model of mental health services for the city, costing around £25 million a year. There will now be a 10 day standstill period before the contracts will be formally agreed and signed.

The model involves a broad range of integrated mental health services provided by nearly 20 organisations, all with specialist expertise and experience. The services will be Bristol focussed and based in the city, to best meet the needs of local people.

The system leader will be Mental Health Bristol, a partnership of Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust with Second Step, Missing Link and seven other voluntary sector organisations. Mental Health Bristol has been awarded the contract following a rigorous three year process, which is one of the largest CCG retendering exercises that has taken place in this country.

Jill Shepherd, Chief Officer of Bristol CCG, said: “We are really excited that we will soon have in place an innovative and modern, Bristol based mental health service.”

She thanked the 70 people who had helped the CCG reach its decision through the robust evaluation process of all the bids. There were separate panels ranging from 15 to 28 people for each bid, including service users, carers, GPs, other clinicians as well as representatives from the local authority. In addition to this, more than 1000 people have taken part in the consultation and engagement events linked to the reprocurement, to give their views on how the service should look.

She added: “We were able to put patients in the driving seat and let them take part in the stringent testing of the bids – using their invaluable expertise and knowledge of local health services. The panels concluded that this partnership of providers have the vision and capability to really change care in Bristol. We are grateful to all those who have been part of the panels for the time and support they have given, to ensure really high quality mental health services for Bristol”.

Lou Winstone, independent lived experience consultant who has used local mental health services, was one of the evaluators. She said: “We look forward to an improved and modernised service that is more responsive, compassionate and where the needs of service users and carers are the top priority. 

“The commissioners have demonstrated a very significant step change to ensure the service user and carer experience informs these changes. It has been a pleasure to collaborate with all stakeholders in this process and there is a sense that the service users and carers experience, views and expertise has been valued considerably more than in the past. We hope that this ethos, developed during this process, is reflected in the new service so that prevention is a matter of course for all and recovery is the norm and people have the choice and support to lead fulfilling lives in this diverse city of ours.”

The successful bidders are:

Lot 1: Bristol Community Mental Health Service

Mental Health Bristol, a partnership of

  • Avon & Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust
  • Second Step
  • Missing Link  
  • Off the Record
  • Nilaari
  • Brunelcare
  • Wellspring Healthy Living Centre
  • Knowle West Health Park Company
  • Southmead Development Trust
  • SARI

Lot 2 – Community Rehabilitation Service

Mental Health Bristol, a partnership of

  • Second Step
  • Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust
  • Missing Link

Lot 3 – Dementia Wellbeing Service

Bristol Dementia Partnership, a partnership of:

  • Devon Partnership NHS Trust
  • Alzheimer’s Society

Lot 4 – Mental Health Employment Service

Richmond Fellowship, in partnership with:

  • Mental Health Matters
  • Windmill Hill City Farm
  • Somali Resource Centre

Lot 6 – Assertive Engagement Service

St Mungo’s Broadway in partnership with:

  • One25

Aileen Edwards, chair of the Mental Health Bristol partnership board, which has won the contract to be system leader said: “We are delighted to have been awarded the contract and we are looking forward to working in partnership with the other providers to deliver the high quality mental health services that people in all our Bristol communities rightly expect.”

Jill Shepherd added: “We have just completed a testing six week preferred bidder stage to ensure that all the providers can work together well to provide a high quality service for our diverse population. Mental Health Bristol will work with partners to ensure a safe and smooth transfer for existing patients.”

The new mental health model will be phased in from autumn this year.

The first services to start will be:

  • System leadership (may start before the autumn)
  • Assessment and recovery
  • Crisis
  • Early intervention and psychosis
  • Complex psychological interventions
  • Dementia wellbeing service
  • Employment service

In January 2015 community access support will begin and in April 2015 the following services will commence:

  • The Sanctuary
  • Community rehabilitation
  • Community access support
  • Assertive engagement