The way people access the Sussex Mental Healthline, our telephone service offering support and information to anyone experiencing mental health problems, is changing.
This will happen in spring 2020 - we'll let you know the date nearer the time.
What you need to know:
- From spring 2020 people will access the Sussex Mental Healthline by calling 111. This is the general NHS number people call when they need urgent medical assistance
- Although the number is changing the same service will be available
- Callers dialling 111 for the Sussex Mental Healthline need to ask to be put through to the Sussex Mental Healthline
- The existing Sussex Mental Heathline number – 0300 5000 101 – will not be switched off when the change happens in the spring. People who do call this number will be automatically diverted to 111 to ensure they can still access the service if they are not immediately aware of the new number
- The current Mental Healthline team will more than double in size, making it easier for people to get support
- The expanded team will include registered mental health professionals, who will be able to help people access urgent support where needed
- It will be available 24/7 across the whole of Sussex
- Calls will now be free; the 0300 number was charged at the local standard rate.
Why are we doing this?
The NHS Long Term Plan calls for NHS 111 to be the single point of access for urgent mental health services, and Sussex Partnership is committed to improving access to services for people experiencing a mental health crisis.
Our most recent Care Quality Commission (CQC) inspection also highlighted that the Sussex Mental Healthline has a variable offer across Sussex due to different commissioning arrangements with each Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG). This results in different levels of access to the service depending on where you live. Moving to 111 will address this and offers us additional funding to expand the team, meaning we will be able to answer more calls.
Our local NHS 111 provider is South East Coast Ambulance Service (SECAmb) and we are working in partnership with them to deliver a comprehensive mental health offer within NHS 111.
More detailed information will be available shortly.