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Gray Healthcare offers aftercare and support in patient homes

17th July 2009

A new national service which will provide comprehensive care and support for challenging mental health patients in their own homes following discharge from hospital is being welcomed by lead clinicians and patient advocates.

Vicky Wadsworth, head of the mental health department at Roebucks solicitors in Blackburn, which acts on behalf of hundreds of patients, said: "There is a huge gap in care provision that this service can help fill.

Health service outreach teams are desperately overstretched and cannot provide the sustained intensive treatment and rehabilitation support that many patients require. In some cases, this means that patients can't be moved on into the community and so remain confined in secure facilities unnecessarily."

Dr Christopher Findlay, a leading community psychiatrist working in Runcorn, said: "There are limits to what Community Mental Health Teams can provide. There are also limited in-patient beds. Any service that offers to work alongside established NHS services to provide intensive safe alternatives to in-patient care is to be welcomed, particularly those that are individually tailored and committed to improved outcomes and the safe social inclusion of patients with mental health difficulties. Working alongside and not replacing existing services is an advantage for responsible clinicians who hope to establish a long term relationship through the journey towards recovery."

The service from Gray Healthcare (http://www.grayhealthcare.co.uk) provides sustained support for people who may or may not have been sectioned under the Mental Health Act but who typically have a history of admission, medication and treatment, discharge and re-admission.

The service is designed to build self esteem and independence. Patients will be helped to obtain their own tenancy and will then benefit from appropriate support provided by a multidisciplinary team including psychiatric nursing, occupational therapy and psychological services.

The majority of patients being referred to the new service are those being considered for discharge from hospital by their responsible clinician under a Community Treatment Order (CTO). This means that the Gray Healthcare clinical team will work closely with NHS staff to create a bespoke care, support and treatment package, tailored to meet the needs and safety of the individual.

Jonathan Gray, Chief Executive of Gray Healthcare says: "The Mental Health Act requires us to care for people in the least restrictive environment that is possible and our aim is to help those who have suffered mental illness move from a secure hospital/rehabilitation setting into their own homes with the full range of support necessary to do this safely and successfully. Our goal is a safe and sustainable return to living in the community."


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Article Information

Title: Gray Healthcare offers aftercare and support in patient homes
Author: Claire Tuckey
Article Id: 12198
Date Added: 17th Jul 2009

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