Dorset’s community mental health services are improving

We are working towards improving community mental health and wellbeing support in Dorset. We know that at the moment, we don’t always get things right. Sometimes there are gaps in care and challenges in communication between services and the people we support.

We have also listened to people in our local community, who have told us that it can be confusing trying to find the right support, with similar services offered by different care providers.

Through Access Wellbeing, our mental health transformation programme, we are working with people and communities to develop a new model of care that will better meet the needs of the people who live here.

Access Wellbeing will see the NHS, councils, charities, and community groups working in partnership to deliver support, to avoid duplication and make sure we provide people with the help they really need, when and where they need it.

We want to build on some of the great work already taking place in our community, to connect services and provide everyone with access to the right support.

This is supported by the NHS Long-term Plan to transform community mental health services with a focus on people living the life that they wish to live in their community.

How will it work?

Access Wellbeing will be the way people in Dorset can access mental health and wellbeing support.

Our new model of care recognises that sometimes, the challenges we face in our day-to-day life or experiences we have faced in the past can impact on our mental health, wellbeing and connections with others, and become overwhelming without the right support.

Access Wellbeing will offer different types of support depending on a person’s need, including earlier access to help, which can prevent concerns from escalating, and empower people to support their future health and wellbeing.

Access Wellbeing aims to provide:

  • The right support – person-centred mental health and wellbeing support that can be accessed by anyone aged 18 and over

  • At the right time – access to advice and help when it’s most needed, recognising what matters most to an individual at any point in time

  • In the right way – a choice of ways to get help and support, including face to face and online, and a ‘no wrong door’ approach

The first stage of this community mental health improvement programme will see the launch of our new pilot wellbeing hubs, which will provide anyone that needs support with help and advice, plus a chance to connect with our team. The two pilot hubs in Poole and Weymouth will also give us the opportunity to hear more from the local community about the issues that matter to them. We can then shape future support together, around what people really need to take that learning into other potential hub sites around Dorset in the next stage of the improvement programme. Further plans will be coming, including a digital support offer, so watch this space.

Access Wellbeing – face-to-face support

Sometimes when you’re worried or struggling, it can be difficult to know where to turn.

The Access Wellbeing hubs in Poole and Weymouth offer a welcoming space to find support on the issues that matter to you, your family, or supporters.

Whatever is on your mind, our friendly, skilled wellbeing coordinators will take the time to listen, then help you to access the right support and advice, whether that’s from a charity or community group, the NHS or local authority.

That might be practical advice on topics such as money, benefits or housing. It could be emotional support and mental health advice. You might be looking for social connections through groups and activities. Or you may simply need a friendly ear at a tough time in your life.

The hubs are available for those in Dorset 18 and over, but we will support and signpost those under 18 to the right resources.

Poole hub

The Access Wellbeing hub in Poole is staffed by trained wellbeing coordinators, plus other team members who will be based there at different times. They can help you to find support on a wide range of topics including:

Mental health and emotional wellbeing

Education training and employment

Benefits advice and financial support

Housing advice and support

Support for carers

Connecting people to social activities (may incl social groups, sports, and leisure groups)

Grief and loss/bereavement

Volunteering

The team will not only provide support to visitors but will also go out to communities where we know people experience barriers to accessing health services. People with lived experience will also be supported to develop projects e.g. peer support groups, which will further strengthen the impact Access Wellbeing Poole will make.

Access Wellbeing Poole is managed by Help & Care and PramaLife, working in partnership with NHS Dorset, Dorset HealthCare, Legal & General, BCP Council, Community Action Network, and other community partners.

You don’t need an appointment to visit the Poole hub – you can pop in at any time during opening hours and one of our Wellbeing Coordinators or a member of our team will be on hand to help.

Access Wellbeing Poole is located in the Dolphin Centre (first floor, next to the car park entrance), Poole BH15 1SZ, open 9am-4pm Monday to Friday. Poole bus station and train station are also conveniently located nearby.

Weymouth hub

The Access Wellbeing hub in Weymouth is staffed by trained Wellbeing Coordinators, working in partnership with team members from a wide range of mental health and wellbeing services.

At present, you will need a referral from a healthcare professional to visit the Access Wellbeing Weymouth hub. However, the hub will be opening soon to drop-in visitors – more details on that will be shared soon via this website and other channels.

Access Wellbeing Weymouth builds on the ‘whole person’ support offer and provides help and advice on a broad range of topics including:

Housing and benefits support

Outreach support

Direct healthcare appointment

Access to assisted deposit scheme

Domestic violence support service

A range of community based activities

Access Wellbeing Weymouth is managed by The Lantern Trust, working in partnership with NHS Dorset, Dorset HealthCare, Dorset Council, and other community partners.

Access Wellbeing Weymouth hub is located at Hope House, 2 Dorchester Rd, Weymouth DT4 7JS. Onsite parking is available, and the hub is on the main bus route to the town centre.

What’s next?

Together we will review, improve, and start to develop this new way of working over the next year. The pilot hubs in Poole and Weymouth will help us understand the best way to improve mental health care as we work with local communities and listen, and work with them, around what matters to them, their families and their communities.

We’ll keep listening, reviewing and developing services over the next few years to make sure they meet the needs of people in Dorset.

Get involved

If you have a query regarding the project please email dhc.mhiccprojectsupportmanagers@nhs.net.

If you are in distress or seeking immediate support please contact the Connection Service 0800 652 0190.