Third Extraordinary Bridge Forum Meeting – Community Mental Health Transformation 3rd May

May 26, 2022 | BRIDGE Forum, News, Newsletter

Extraordinary Bridge Forum Meeting

Community Mental Health Transformation

Developing a VCFSE Mental Health Alliance – Wirral

 Tuesday 3rd March 2022, 2:30-4pm, Teams Meeting

Full notes are attached at the end of the post, along with presentation slides and an Expression of Interest form.


 2:30 – 2:35      Welcome and Introductions – Darlene Martin

2:35 – 2:45      Recap on Progress of alliance & Core Model – Mark Trewin (Rethink Head of Alliance Building, Community Mental Health Unit)

2:45 – 2:50      Discussion/Q&A   

2:50 – 3:00      Comfort break

3:00 – 3:10      Sector Led Strategy – Karen Livesey (Wirral CVF)

3:10 – 3:15      Discussion Q&A

3:15 – 3:25      The Somerset Model – Led by Beccy Wardle (Rethink Head of NHS Collaboration Somerset)

3:25 – 3:40      Discussion/Q&A

3:40 – 3:50      Terms of Reference – (Darlene)

3:50 – 4pm     Expressions Of Interest (Darlene)


  • Healthwatch Wirral will continue to be present going forward but will no longer be hosting/facilitating – will hand over to Darlene Martin and Karen Livesey

Reminder of HWW’s Aim:

  • We believe everyone has the right to access high quality health and social care when they need it.
  • We share your feedback with services and with the people who plan and design them to make sure that health and social care services are improved

Darlene Martin, Rethink – background

Mark Trewin, Rethink – progress of alliance and core model work with CWP

  • Lots of enthusiasm on the Wirral – want to show how things are developing and how we can start to move the agenda forward
  • Different areas of the country are developing alliances on different models
  • The ambition of this project is a new, inclusive community-based offer based on redesigning mental health services around Primary Care Networks that integrates primary and secondary care, VCF sector and LA services
  • People spend most of their time in their communities – mental health care should be based in communities
  • CWP working to co-ordinate with partners including VCF sector, local authority, people with lived experience, Primary Care Networks and NHS
  • Past model – commissioners put out money and VCF has to bid for it – smaller and more local organisations often miss out
  • Rethink – small and medium-sized grants project – alliance should be in charge of how these grants go out in the future
  • CWP leading on the idea of developing a new model – what is good about services now? What are the gaps? What do we want in the future?
  • Community MH model with people at the centre instead of org:
  • Voluntary sector alliance-building – multi-agency alliance of partners working together instead of bidding – VCF on equal standing with NHS and Local Authority
  • What next? Need to establish governance structure and model for Wirral; what training do people need? Enable small organisations to attend

Karen Livesey, Wirral CVS – sector-led strategy

  • Many organisations have been involved in this work over the last 9 months – great example of what we can achieve when we collaborate
  • Collaboration means have a shared purpose, using co-creation, supporting communities to achieve their potential, acting in an inclusive way
  • Collaboration between sectors is important to help identify needs of communities, use skills and resources, better services for communities
  • 4 pillars of Coming Together plan – Voice and Influence, Coproduction and Working Together, Health Creation and Volunteering
  • Guiding principles are very similar to discussions in this meeting
  • Wirral CVS will develop VCFSE architecture – networks, forums and groups – Communities of Place, People and Practice – contact KL to help fill in! [email protected]
  • Wirral Collaboration Framework – using Brighton & Hove best practice example – fits well with Wirral – “A New Local Social Contract for Wirral”
  • Social contract = how we work together, defined behaviours and commitments – all on the same page
  • Wirral CVS – new independent organisation, co-ordinating body NOT service delivery organisation – membership for VCFSE sector – sector-designed and sector-led
  • Interim board currently – in early days! Lots of work to do – trying to engage with as many organisations as possible

Beccy Wardle, Rethink – Somerset model

  • Open Mental Health – multi-agency alliance of partners working together to improve mental health support in Somerset, which was an early implementer of Community Mental Health Framework – started Autumn 2019
  • Mixture of mental health-specific organisations and broader organisations e.g. Citizens Advice who are integral to providing holistic support
  • Culture of collaboration between different parts of the system (CCG, NHS trusts etc) – equal partnership not hierarchy
  • Shared ambition of holistic approach to mental health support
  • Different alliance models to allow funding to flow into voluntary sector
  • Somerset has partnership board overseeing contract held by lead accountable body – Rethink is lead org in Somerset which was decided democratically (Rethink would not lead in Wirral as no local infrastructure)
  • Shared vision: focus on prevention, open access (no wrong door/no shut door/no door at all), ‘warm introductions’ rather than referrals between services, access to help before a crisis, co-production as continuous part of the model
  • Co-produced model –free-flowing not linear
  • See slides for examples of service delivery from Open Mental Health and videos
  • Supporting micro providers – grants fund for small organisations to bolster mental health ecosystem in communities
  • Key achievements – more people accessing support than previously! Next Steps – supporting people after inpatient stays; more peer support workers; low waiting times for IAPT; VCSE and NHS using the same digital care planning system

Next steps

  • Contact [email protected] by end of May to feed back on draft Terms of Reference (these will be circulated again with the notes)
  • Expressions of Interest – please send again if you haven’t had a response from Darlene – but there is no cut-off date for this
  • Next meeting will focus on Terms of Reference and setting up steering group/governance structure for alliance

Full notes: Extraordinary BRIDGE Forum Meeting May 22 minutes

Rethink presentation: VCSE Alliance building in Cheshire and Wirral May 2022

Wirral CVF presentation: MH Alliance May 2022

Coming Together Plan: CVF Coming Together Plan V3

Somerset Presentation: Somerset – Slide deck for other areas April 22

Draft Terms of Reference: Cheshire and Wirral Alliance Partnership Board ToR DRAFT EXAMPLE for Wirral

Expression of Interest Form: Expression of Interest

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