Mental health and serious mental illness

As predicted by the Centre for Mental Health, the system is seeing a surge in mental health care demand, including a 75% increase in requests for crisis support and double the volume of emergency attendances for eating disorders.

Mental health services

Our priorities are focused on the expansion and improvement of mental health services:

Perinatal mental health 

The service continues to increase access through its extended psychological therapies offer and group support for women up to 24 months postnatal, including partner appointments. There will be specific service development for women in east Surrey, bringing together mental health services in Surrey and Borders NHS Trust and maternity services at East Surrey Hospital

Maternal mental health service

The service will be developed through the appointment of psychologists, psychotherapists, specialist midwives and clinical lead roles

Improving Access to Psychological Therapy

The service, also known as IAPT or 'talking therapies', continues to expand with further investment and increases in the number of trainees every September. A procurement exercise due to commence in 2022/23 will help services become fit for the future and bring innovative practices to meet the population's need, including opportunities to improve the interface between IAPT, our early intervention services and the mental health Community Transformation Programme

Physical health checks for people with a severe mental illness

 Surrey Heartlands has been selected as a vanguard to improve digital infrastructure and data capture, working with NHS England to create a model for the NHS. We aim to increase the number of health checks through a locally commissioned service with primary care which will include more Physical Health Liaison workers and review the current delivery model


The consultation to refresh the Surrey Dementia Strategy identified areas to improve care pathways, emphasizing "listening well." The recommendations from Healthwatch Surrey's report have been included in action plans supporting the delivery of the refreshed strategy.

Individual placement support

Also known as Employment Support, this is an essential element of mental health treatment and recovery. In Surrey, the service will continue to expand and integrate with other services, such as Improving Access to Psychological Therapy

Mental health crisis care and liaison 

The system plans to recruit clinical professionals with expertise in supporting Older Adults and create an 'all-age' Mental Health Crisis Response service to enhance the existing Home Treatment Team. The all-age crisis response service will help older adults, including people with dementia, provide immediate care, advice and support

Ambulance services and mental health 

'Secure' ambulance transport for mental health patients in crisis is one of the NHS Long Term Plan deliverables. Before-COVID-19, commissioners had started to work together to identify conveyancing gaps across several patient cohorts in the South East region to deliver a more efficient, cost-effective service. This included requirements for patients needing secure transport services and transfers between acute and mental health facilities. A model of service delivery is currently in development

Suicide prevention 

This remains a high priority in our system. Surrey Heartlands continues to work with colleagues from Surrey Public Health to develop and deliver suicide prevention and bereavement services. Investment has been made to expand services, including bereavement and response to support those affected by suicide. The Surrey Suicide Prevention Strategy refresh will be published in September 2022