Merton Council and the local National Health Service trust have agreed in principle to integrate the community mental health services provided in the Borough.

This means that the Council employed social workers and support staff; and the NHS employed psychiatrists, community psychiatric nurses, occupational therapists and psychologists will work together on mental health services – providing a single point of access for users and carers.

An integrated mental health service will mean better services for both users and carers, since the professionals concerned with their care will be working more closely together within the Borough. It will also mean clearer lines of accountability for both service users and the managers that run the service.

The new integrated arrangements for mental health services are strongly encouraged by central Government and also form part of the recently drawn up NHS National Plan.

Councillor Judy Saunders, Cabinet Member for Care Services, said:

“The new arrangements will mean an improved service for some of Merton’s most vulnerable residents including adults with mental health problems and those with drug and alcohol related problems.

“We will now be working closely with the NHS trust to bring together the detailed arrangements for the new integrated service, and are currently looking for suitable premises within Merton to locate the new Community Mental Health Teams.”