With reference to Elizabeth Bayliss's letter (9 July), recommending that services should work jointly, we feel it important to point out that in Hackney we are almost unique in having had jointly provided mental health services for the past four years.

Our locality mental health teams are fully integrated, with the care programme approach and care management integrated, and health and social services staff working together in the same management structure. We believe this model of service helps to ensure that vulnerable people are not lost between organisational boundaries. The teams also provide one point of contact for our other partner agencies - such as the police, housing and other community groups.

As the two main statutory agencies, we are committed to working closely together to minimise organisational boundaries, while preserving the different skills, abilities and approaches of each. The interests of mental health users are best served by organisations building mental health services together, rather than separately.

Nette Carder


Adult community services

London Borough of Hackney;

Averil Dongworth

Chief executive

City & Hackney Community Services trust