Two clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) in north Kent have awarded a community mental health and wellbeing contract to local charity, Porchlight.

After a joint procurement exercise with Kent County Council and an open market process, NHS Dartford, Gravesham and Swanley (DGS) CCG and NHS Swale CCG have announced the Kent based charity as their preferred Strategic Partner.

From 1 May 2016, the management of Improved Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT), Primary Care Mental Health Specialists and Personality Disorder Peer Support services will transfer to Porchlight.

CCGs are responsible for buying and managing a wide range of local health services that include prevention, early intervention, support and recovery programmes for people experiencing mental ill health.

Patricia Davies, Accountable Officer for NHS Dartford, Gravesham and Swanley (DGS) and NHS Swale CCGs, who plan and buy most health services in the area, said: “We look forward to working with Porchlight and other partners to build on, and develop mental health services in our area. This new contract provides an excellent opportunity for partnership working between the health and voluntary sector to deliver an integrated community service.

“Patients will continue to receive high quality care throughout the transition and beyond, with the added benefit of accessing a range of tailored community health services through a single point of contact.”

With proven experience and a strong track record of supporting vulnerable people across the county, Porchlight has helped thousands of people with economic, social or mental health issues to live independently, play an active role in their local community and to fulfil their potential.

“We’re very proud to have been awarded the contract to deliver this innovative and outcome focused service,” said Mike Barrett, Chief Executive of Porchlight. We’ve already got a great reputation for partnership working and providing personalised support to address a person’s whole need, helping them develop the resilience and skills to move towards a more positive future.

“As Strategic Lead for this new service, we’ll be working closely with other commissioned mental health service providers and with more than 60 local agencies specialising in arts, employment, volunteering, exercise and sports, as well as ensuring that high quality psychological therapies and other healthcare services are widely available to anyone who needs them.

“The new service is all about helping people access a network of resources within their own community, so that they can choose the support that is right for them and take control of their own recovery. By providing lasting and sustainable support within local communities, we can promote social inclusion and wellbeing and give people the information and skills they need for a healthy, independent life.”

The contract is worth approximately £2 million per year for the next three years across Dartford, Gravesham and Swanley and Swale CCG areas.

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