Newham mental health service funding contract ends

A support and advisory group for Newham mental health users may become user-led in the future. Pictu

A support and advisory group for Newham mental health users may become user-led in the future. Picture: Shutterstock - Credit: Shutterstock

Users have expressed concerns about the future stability of their mental health service following the end of a funding contract, it has been claimed.

Newham ASK will no longer receive support from charity Hestia after March 31 as its legal contract with NHS Newham Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), which funds the group with Newham Council, will end.

According to Sandra Amoah, Newham ASK member and former chair, although beneficiaries will continue to be supported by the council’s co-production team, greater focus will be placed on the forum being service-user led.

She added: “There are other groups that work like this and they are very successful so I know there are concerns from other members but we will just have to give it a chance.”

Newham ASK, which has 300 members, advises Newham’s Health and Wellbeing Board, run by the NHS and Newham Council, about issues facing mental health service users and many benefit from activities and training.

Members will no longer have the advisory and emotional support of Hestia, which was available five days a week.

A spokeswoman for Newham CCG and Newham Council said Newham ASK had run past its original contract terms and many of its services had been integrated into others on offer.

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She said: “We are working to ensure the core aspects of the services offered by Newham ASK continue to be delivered through our existing service provision.”

Lindsey Rennard, Hestia’s interim director of fundraising and marketing, said: “Over the 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.”