The Somerset Mental Health and Learning Disabilities Commissioning Team
Somerset’s Mental Health and Learning Disabilities Commissioning Team support the health and wellbeing of the people of Somerset by putting them at the heart of the way our mental health services are designed and commissioned.
We are a small, dedicated team of professionals with experience across the NHS, social care and our own lived experience of mental health services in Somerset. We work across all age groups and demographics, from Children and Young People to Adults and Older Adults, and we aim to ensure that every person in Somerset gets high-quality mental health support to fit their needs. We work closely with providers across the county to change the way that we deliver our health and care services; we want to ensure that they work well together to fulfil people’s needs and are located in the community wherever possible, close to where people live.
Our Vision for Mental Health Services in Somerset
In Somerset, people with actual lived experience of mental health issues, their carers, doctors, psychiatrists, psychologists, other health and care professionals and local community and voluntary organisations have worked together to develop a vision for our future mental health services.
We will give greater priority to helping people stay healthy in the first place; we recognise the importance of putting a greater focus on the prevention of ill health, tackling health inequalities and the promotion of positive health and wellbeing to ensure a greater parity of esteem between mental and physical health. We are working together with agencies (including the Local Authority, Mind in Somerset and the Alzheimer’s Society etc.) to enable people, their carers and family members to access support within the community when they need it.
In January 2019, the NHS Long Term Plan was published, setting out a blueprint for the future of the NHS over the next ten years. The plan was accompanied by a government promise to invest significantly more in mental health services during that time. This funding will enable us to deliver a series of specific commitments to expanding mental health services:
Learning Disabilities and Autism – Our Strategic Vision Statement
Our strategic vision for Somerset (in line with the NHS Long Term Plan) is to support people with Learning Disabilities and/or Autism to look after their health and lead healthier lives.
We aim to do this by making sure that people receive timely and appropriate health checks and have better access to health services whilst improving the level of awareness and understanding across the NHS of how we can best support them as individuals.
We want people with Learning Disabilities and/or Autism to be able to say that:
- They have a fulfilling life as Somerset citizens, including having equal opportunities and choose where to work, study, enjoy leisure and social activities as well as have meaningful relationships and friendships
- They are able to have and/or remain in their own homes
- They can access good quality mainstream services when needed
- They have timely access to good quality and safe specialist services as close to home as possible
If they need access to specialist bed provision this would be for the shortest possible time required.
We hope that delivering on these key priorities should mean that more people with Learning Disabilities and/or Autism who live in Somerset will be able to live their lives in the way that they choose.