Community Services – Mental Health Support Service

Last Updated: 17 July 2023

Where are we now

The Mental Health Support Service is a commissioned service supporting vulnerable adults, aged 18+, with a diagnosed mental health need to manage and stabilise their mental health needs and to develop and exercise daily living skills in order to prepare them for the move into independent accommodation.  The current block funded service is commissioned by Sutton to provide this service for three years from January 2023.

The service provision includes: short term rehabilitative support to eleven adults in a shared, 24-hour staffed property; floating support to four adults living in a separate shared property; and resettlement support of up to three hours per week over a minimum period of four weeks for individuals moving on to independent accommodation. 

The primary intention of the service is to enable people to move on safely to settled accommodation. Depending on an individual’s needs, circumstances and the recommendation of agencies involved, options for move-on accommodation may include:

  • General needs social housing via applications to the Council’s Allocations Policy 
  • Private rented accommodation, through liaison with Encompass (Local Authority Trading Company)
  • Short term supported accommodation (up to two years), through a move from Property One to Property Two or to alternative supported accommodation
  • Long term alternative support placement via Adult Social Care or Health

The intended maximum length of stay in the service is two years, although move-on arrangements are individual specific.  

Both properties within this service are Council owned properties within the borough.  Sutton Housing Partnership, the Council’s Arms Length Management Organisation, is responsible for maintaining the structure and condition of both properties, as well holding the primary housing management responsibilities. The commissioned service provider is responsible for additional delegated housing management services as agreed with Sutton Council and Sutton Housing Partnership. 

Our Market

Admission to service is based on a statutory assessment carried out by Sutton Adult Social Care, in partnership with relevant NHS professionals. 

The service is for adults, aged over 18, who:

  •  Have ordinary residence in Sutton; and 
  • i) Sutton owes a duty under Section 117 of the Mental Health Act; or
  • ii) Have a severe and enduring mental illness e.g. schizophrenia, severe affective disorder, severe anxiety and/or depression, compulsive or phobic disorder, eating disorder, bi-polar disorder or personality disorder; or
  • iii) Have a primary mental health need, although prospective service users may have a dual diagnosis including Aspergers or substance misuse/addictions; and
  • Have a high level of complex support needs, disadvantages and related risks that need to be managed. 

Referrals for this service come from Sutton Adult Social Care via Encompass’ Supported Housing Pathway and decisions are made on the basis of current needs and risk assessment. The service will consider people with a history of violence, crime, arson, sexual or racist offending, and substance misuse. 

Referrals to the service includes clients who:

  • Have spent time in a psychiatric hospital and referral to this service is part of their discharge plan; or
  • Need mental health rehabilitation support following a period in residential, nursing care, and other settings; or
  • Have a severe and enduring mental illness and require a period of intensive mental health support and rehabilitation

In addition to the above, one of the following circumstances will usually apply: 

  • Individuals who need support to avoid hospital admission
  • Individuals who are homeless or unsuitable housed and need intensive mental health support rehabilitation
  • Individuals who are moving out of the family home and need a high level of mental health rehabilitative support 
  • Individuals who have their own home but require a period of mental health rehabilitative support. 

There are currently eleven clients within the service.

Where we want to be

The Council intends to carry out a detailed needs analysis of clients with mental health needs in the borough to understand the current and future demand for accommodation based options and the delivery of floating support through appropriate agencies to prevent the loss of accommodation.  The outcome of the needs analysis will inform the development of a strategy for the provision of services that support the needs of this client group to enable people to live independently and safely in the community.

Collaborative working is taking place with South London Partnership and key stakeholders from across South West London on the Complex Care Programme to share expertise, knowledge and experience to review and shape the complex care pathway to better support recovery outcomes for adults with complex mental health needs.