STRUCTURE: Sussex Partnership has welcomed a decision by the East Sussex health overview and scrutiny committee to approve significant changes in mental health services in the county.

The improvements, which are subject to final ratification by the county’s primary care trusts, will lead to more enhanced community services so patients can remain in their homes, rather than needing to enter an inpatient unit.

Dr Nick Lake, clinical director for primary mental health care and wellbeing at Sussex Partnership, said the changes would build on those already being introduced.

He said:  “Services coming newly on stream include the Crisis Resolution and Home Treatment Service, which offers community treatment to people who would otherwise be admitted to hospital, and the hospital liaison team which offers seven days a week prompt assessment to people with mental health needs in acute hospitals.

“We have proven that we can do it and are grateful for the HOSC in putting their faith in us to take the changes forward. The introduction of new services will continue throughout the summer of 2011.”

The West Sussex health overview and scrutiny committee will meet on 17 March to decide on similar proposals for West Sussex services provided by Sussex Partnership.