During 2014, we held a number of events where service users and stakeholders told us they needed easier access to services.

Mental health

We also talked to our GPs who said they needed more support to give the best possible care to their patients with mental health needs.

We supported the Kent and Medway NHS and Social Care Partnership (KMPT) to pilot a mental health phone line for patients, carers and referrers in Medway, enabling them to access help and advice more quickly. It featured a single telephone number available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. This will be rolled out across Kent and Medway by the end of the year.

We introduced Primary Care Mental Health Specialists to provide leadership and expertise to primary care clinicians and practice staff in the management of mental health conditions.

Wellbeing Cafés were also introduced during the winter, using additional resilience funding, to help existing service users expand their social networks and boost their social networks and boost their wellbeing, especially at weekends when other support services were not available.

Many service users told us that attending a Wellbeing Café prevented them from calling on the Crisis Resolution Home Treatment Team. As a result, the CCG has evaluated the café and commissioned the service for 2015/16. A more detailed service specification has been developed to support and target those most in need.

The CCG has also begun a review of the Dementia Care Pathway, in line with national and local dementia care strategies, to identify any gaps or areas of duplication.

Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) has also been a priority for us during 2014/15. This work will continue.

The Accident and Emergency Liaison Psychiatry Service provides an urgent mental health assessment for people with existing mental health problems who attend the Emergency Department or a hospital ward at Medway Maritime Hospital. This ensures a patient's mental health is assessed and treated effectively alongside any physical health problems which is expected to lead to fewer hospital admissions.

The CCG invested additional funds during 2014/15 to extend the service from 9am to midnight to a 24-hour service, seven days a week.