AN overhaul of community mental health services in north Essex has been unveiled.

The changes, proposed by the North Essex Partnership mental health trust, will result in a “handful” of job cuts, according to chief executive Andrew Geldard.

The changes, which follow two years of talks with other NHS bodies, patients and staff, will also result in a great focus on tackling patients with dementia.

Mr Geldard said: “We need to fundamentally transform community services to create leading, modern services for the future, to put resources in the areas of greatest demand, for example dementia, and to respond to what our patients have told us they want, simple services, clear pathways, a choice of interventions and better communication.

“This level of change always brings concerns and anxiety to the staff affected.

“We have assured staff that we will do everything possible to support them through the changes and really want to hear their views during this consultation period.

“The proposals will result in a small reduction in total staff numbers and achieve necessary cost savings; but change is needed to better meet the needs of our patients and respond to changing demands, better meet the requirements of our commissioners and enable us to integrate with physical health services to meet the holistic needs of patients.”

The proposed changes will affect patients who require help for depression, anxiety and other mental health problems, but who do not need to stay in hospital accommodation.

A staff consultation will run until September 19.

See the plans at