An NHS trust has revamped Hillingdon adult community mental health services after previously facing criticism for particular services.
The Central North West London NHS Foundation Trust (CNWL) launched a new model of care to offer an 'improved experience' which is easier to access and more responsive to people's needs.
After last Tuesday's launch (February 23), Hillingdon will see three community mental health teams based at two hubs in the borough: Pembroke Centre and Mead House.
These teams are made up of a wider range of staff and are integrated teams with social workers from the London Borough of Hillingdon.
NWL Clinical Commissioning Groups announced they were investing £1.9m a year to expand adult mental health crisis teams in September last year.
The trust have now expanded their existing Hillingdon Home Treatment Team to include a 24-hour rapid response service.
The Hillingdon Home Treatment Rapid Response Team offers intensive support to people experiencing acute mental crisis in their homes.
Kim Cox, borough director for mental health in Hillingdon, said: "We've restructured our community mental health teams so there will be fewer transfers for service users between our teams; people will be seen by the right person more quickly.
"This will improve our service user experience and make our services more responsive.
"Our redesign will also have a positive effect on our staff who can work closely with other health and social care professionals on a daily-basis whilst continuing to use their own expertise.
"Our staff have worked extremely hard to make these changes during a challenging time and I want to thank everybody involved."
Ensuring holistic needs are met
These changes are part of a wider service redesign to improve community mental health services across North West London.
Sunny Mehmi, service manager for mental health adult services, London Borough of Hillingdon, said: "The new community mental health team model further develops the integrated health and social care service which will ensure that service users' holistic needs are met to continue their onward recovery in the community."
The CNWL say these changes made will also benefit carers, GPs, the police, ambulance services, the voluntary sector and other mental health teams who now all refer people through the same way - a Single Point of Access.
The Single Point of Access is open 24-hours-a-day, seven-days-a-week, and offers mental health triage for routine, urgent and emergency referrals, information and advice. It incorporates the CNWL Out-of-Hours Urgent Advice Line (UAL).
Graham Hawkes, chief executive officer of Healthwatch Hillingdon, thanked the CNWL for involving the health watchdog and patients during the service redesign.
Healthwatch Hillingdon previously published a report 'Seen & Heard - Why not now?' to reveal the desperate plight of children, families and professionals facing struggles with mental health services in Hillingdon .
Speaking at the redesign launch, Mr Hawkes said: "Providing care and support in the community is a positive development in mental health services for the borough and a real opportunity to improve outcomes for our residents.
"I look forward for the changes becoming embedded over the coming months."
CNWL's Single Point of Access contact number is 0800 0234 650.