Living Well Alliance launches ‘new front door’ for mental health services in Lambeth

18 December 2019

Written by: Guest author Guy Swindle, South London & Maudsley (SLAM) NHS Trust

Health - Health and Wellbeing - News and announcements - Voluntary and community sector

Lambeth Living Well Alliance opens new Living Well Centres for mental health services in Lambeth.

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Living Well Alliance launches ‘new front door’ for mental health services in Lambeth

Thursday 5 December saw the launch of new mental health service arrangements for adults in Lambeth.

Joined up teams

Three new Living Well Centres are at the heart of the new services. These centres bring together clinical staff, social workers and voluntary sector support workers. These joined-up teams support a wide range of needs and reduce the large number of assessments that people may have experienced in the past.

Single point of access

There is a new ‘front door’ for mental health – the Single Point of Access (SPA). The SPA will assess people – usually by telephone – and refer them directly to the service that best meets their needs. Most people will be introduced to the SPA by GPs, although people can introduce themselves via an online form.

Crisis outreach

The new mobile Crisis Outreach Service, also launched on 5 December, can reach people in crisis around Lambeth within a few hours, to ensure they get support.

The Alliance

Young Lambeth poet Abstract Benna performed specially-written poem ‘The Alliance’ for the event:

“The mind is delicate, it’s not easy to share even when you’re used to the person

Sometime it’s even hard to allude to the burden

Frequently repeat the assessments makes it harder

Unnecessary referrals add to the same palaver

Knowing we don’t want everyone to hear just someone to listen

From those with visible conditions to those in the most difficult positions

From those who felt they had to beg for miniscule provisions

While trying to cope under the lack of support in their own borough

This poem is a literal description of our appreciation, thank you

For this collective solution to issues which used to keep us waiting

When I see the word community I usually turn the second m into an e

Come, unity imagine walking through the front door of the spa

The single point of access a point of contact which doesn’t add stress

But rather acts as a mattress, we can now rest knowing the service is embedded

In partnerships, from psychiatrists, therapists, nurses,

To voluntary and community workers

A service built on an overdue alliance

A needed compliance applying the skills of five partners

Instead of pointing a finger they joined the helping hand

United as a fist for the perfect metaphor: we’re in this fight together…

From Certitude to Thames reach and all in between changing lives forever”

More information

The Alliance is made up of: Certitude (a not for profit social care provider), Lambeth Council, Lambeth Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), South London and Maudsley NHS Trust and homelessness charity Thames Reach