Mental health group funded by Newham CCG and council to close
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A group that enables people with mental health issues to shape how their services are run is to close after its funding was cut.
ASK Service User Forum will finish on March 31 as NHS Newham Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), which funds the group along with Newham Council, cannot legally renew its four-year contract with charity and service provider Hestia.
The group advises Newham’s Health and Wellbeing Board, run by the NHS and Newham Council, about issues facing mental health service users in Newham.
It has 300 members, 163 of whom were classed as “active” over the last 12 months. Many of these benefit from activities and workshops, plus training and development opportunities.
A spokeswoman for Newham CCG and Newham Council said ASK Newham was no longer needed as it has run past its original contract terms and many of its services had been “successfully intergrated into the core services offered” by both bodies.
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She said: “This includes customer engagement and co-production services. NHS Newham CCG and the council are working to ensure that the core aspects of the services offered by ASK Newham continue to be delivered through our existing service provision.”
Lindsey Rennard, Hestia’s interim director of fundraising and marketing, confirmed it was Newham CCG’s decision not to re-commission the forum.
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She said: Over the four years we have provided this service Newham ASK has been an exciting and energetic forum valued by mental health service users which successfully put the voice of service users at the heart of service design and delivery in Newham.
“Hestia looks forward to continuing our work providing support for adults and children in crisis to help them to change their lives.”