Statement on Focus Homeless Outreach Service

Camden Clinical Commissioning Group is one of the three top London CCGs in terms of spending on mental health services. Recognising that this is an area of significant need in our area, we invest over and above the level of expenditure required to meet the nationally set Mental Health Investment Standard. 

In recent months we carefully reviewed existing support services for homeless people with mental health needs, working with key stakeholders including Camden & Islington NHS Foundation Trust, who provide the Focus service. Together, we developed plans that will deliver better coordinated care and reduce the duplication between different organisations in Camden. 

The Focus Homeless Outreach Service will be dedicated to supporting homeless people with the most complex mental health needs which is a key area of their expertise. The service will continue to support homeless people who are subject to Section 136 of the Mental Health Act (where the police can take them to a place of safety when they are in a public place) and will work closely with the psychiatric liaison teams based in acute settings if they are admitted to hospital in an emergency. 

People with less complex needs will be supported by the range of other suitable health and care services in Camden, including, Improving Access to Psychological Therapies and Team around the Practice which provides psychology and psychiatry services in GP practices across Camden. Grounsdwell, who accept referrals from anyone working in a homelessness or health service or self-referrals from anyone currently affected by homelessness, they provide: 

  • Support for a client to attend and understand appointments, and make choices about next steps
  • Give practical support in attending follow ups and hospital stays
  • Support with information about health and health services 

We do not believe anyone will have difficultly accessing the right care for them as a result of these changes, and are confident the planned changes will not adversely impact hospital or general practice demand in Camden. 

We will monitor carefully as the changes are implemented. 

These plans mean Camden CCG will save £220,000 annually, which is important given our duty to spend NHS money wisely in these challenging financial times.