the Community Mental Health Team have now introduced a phased enhancement and extension to their service provision, with introduction of an ‘outreach support team’.

Although still at embryonic stages, the new extension to the service will see the phased introduction of a number of new initiatives aimed exclusively at improving the quality of life for patients and carers in the community and will continue to develop as the service grows. The new components will ensure that a more robust support network is available to patients afterhours and will be a welcome addition to the existing on-call team.

Some of the services that will be available will include a nursing after hours on-Call service, (17:00-08:00hrs; 7 days a week, including Bank Holidays), improved discharge packages, incorporating more supportive structures for people moving back into the community from Ocean Views Hospital, improved supervision and management of patient caseloads that require more input or monitoring, increase in frequency of home visits and checking compliance with medication.

Following the necessary training, a mental health support line will be available to our known patients/carers incorporating a combination of phone and physical presence and, where necessary, linking with the excellent team at Club House to offer advice and support. It is anticipated that these innovations will have a positive impact in reducing the need for admissions or length of stay in hospital and add resilience to a community centered approach to mental health.

Ocean Views Manager, Christopher Chipolina welcomed this initiative, stating: “These reforms will ensure a more robust out of hours support network and will be a welcome addition to the existing on-call team aimed exclusively at improving the quality of life for patients and carers in the community.”

Minister for Health, Care and Justice, the Honourable Neil F. Costa added; “I am extremely pleased with the introduction of the ‘Outreach Support Team’. These innovations will provide greater support to some of our society’s most vulnerable members. There are further improvements in the pipeline, such as the support line, which will not only be available to patients, but their families and carers too. Professionals form the GHA, working together with Clubhouse and Samaritans, will be available to offer caring, compassionate and expert advice round the clock.”