Derbyshire patients with mental health problems are getting some of the best treatment in England, according to latest figures from the Department of Health.
Derbyshire patients who are experiencing mental health problems such as depression and anxiety now have access to talking therapies and can chose from five providers.
The four clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) responsible for planning and buying the county’s healthcare are all in the top 30 of more than 200 such groups nationwide for percentage of patients recovering from common mental health problems such as anxiety and depression, and having access to talking therapies.
The target for 2014/15 is that at least 50 per cent of people receiving help recover.
NHS North Derbyshire and Southern Derbyshire CCGs both recorded recovery rates of over 52 per cent, against a national average of 44 per cent while NHS Hardwick CCG, the CCG that leads on the mental health contracts for all four groups; and Erewash CCG, recorded scores slightly below the 50 per cent target with scores of 49 per cent and 48 per cent respectively.
All four CCGs comfortably outstripped the national average of 11 per cent for patients accessing face-to-face care sessions called talking therapy. North Derbyshire and Southern Derbyshire achieved 15 per cent while Hardwick and Erewash achieved 13.5 per cent. The target for 2014/15 is 15 per cent.
A key factor in the strong Derbyshire performance has been the CCGs’ contracting of five providers of psychological therapy, which means greater choice for patients.
Derbyshire’s achievements were recognised recently when the CCGs joined other top performers to brief Health Minister Norman Lamb on their success factors.
Meanwhile, the CCGs are investing in better mental health services at Chesterfield Royal Hospital and Royal Derby Hospital for patients who are admitted with physical health problems but who are also suffering from mental health issues.
The CCGs are to open a new mental health ward this month while plans are being drawn to make mental health nurses available to people calling NHS 111.
Dr Steve Lloyd, Chair of NHS Hardwick CCG, said:“Increased investment in mental health services is a top priority for Derbyshire as one in four of us will experience mental health problems at some point in our lives.
“It is good that there are more talking therapy services available but we can all improve our mental health and wellbeing by taking more exercise, getting more sleep, drinking less alcohol and making more time to talk to friends.”
General advice on mental health can be obtained by visiting www.rethink.org or www.samaritans.org.