Does the Primary Care Plus mental health programme work for users?
We reviewed the Primary Care Plus mental health pilot programme from the perspective of service users.
Mental Health provision is one of our strategic priorities. We were encouraged by the innovative and integrated design of the service, and wanted to have conversations with consenting service users to evaluate their experience in an independent review.
Primary Care Plus (PCP) was developed by Milton Keynes Clinical Commissioning Group (MK CCG) and CNWL to address the need for improvement in the provision of early intervention services for people experiencing mild to moderate mental ill health.
Referrals are made by a patient's GP, with treatment provided at the patient's GP surgery. It is hoped this will increase access and reduce stigma associated with going to a specialist mental health centre.
MK CCG and CNWL commission and provide mental health services in Milton Keynes.
We spoke to 10% of current and discharged patients (10 people in total).
Responses were overwhelmingly positive.
Key points highlighted were:
• Service users highly value the programme
• Support offered is tailored to the individual
• Service users felt that the practitioners understood them and their issues
• The timeliness of the initial contact is a key factor for the positive feedback
• Increasing PCP working days at each surgery would improve access for service users
• Referrals made by the service, and the support offered while waiting for further treatment, ensure that service user needs are met
• 100% of the people we spoke to said that the service was effective.
We recommend that the commissioners of the programme consider further investment in Primary Care Plus to increase the accessibility of the service by expanding its availability in terms of available appointment days and times. During discussions with commissioners and providers we were told that they hoped to run the service in all Milton Keynes GP surgeries, and we strongly support this aim.