Alexander House

Ash Tree Road



Tel: 01423 795150




About the service

The community mental health team serves people living in the Harrogate and Wetherby district and rural district (Knaresborough, Ripon, Boroughbridge, Nidderdale, Masham). The team provides a service for people aged 65 and over with severe or acute mental health problems (a functional mental health or illness or a degenerative organic illness).

This includes people with:

  • Moderate or severe dementia who have significant problems and complex needs eg behaviour and/or whose carers require specialist input
  • Severe and persistent mental disorders associated with significant disability, psychoses and depressive illness
  • Longer term disorders of lesser severity but which are characterised by poor treatment adherence requiring proactive follow up
  • Any disorder where there is significant risk of self harm or harm to others (eg acute depression)
  • Mental health disorders requiring skilled or intensive treatments (eg rehabilitation, medication maintenance requiring blood tests) not available in primary care
  • Complex problems of management and engagement and severe disorders of personality, where these can be shown to benefit by continued contact and support, except where these have been accepted by the assertive community treatment team.

The service includes a specialist younger dementia team for people under the age of 65 with an early onset dementia.

Treatment and therapies

The service offers a holistic assessment and treatment plan based on a recovery model, which includes access to cognitive stimulation and cognitive behavioural based therapies, psychological therapies, medication treatment plan, physiotherapy and occupational therapy.

The team

The community mental health team includes:

  • Doctors
  • Nurses
  • Health care assistants
  • Occupational therapist
  • Physiotherapist
  • Psychologist
  • Secretaries.

How to access the service

Referral to this service is made by GPs or other secondary mental health services.  Referrals will be taken from the Harrogate and Wetherby, Ripon and rural districts of the sector.

How does the assessment process work?

Following referral the patient will be contacted by a member of the community mental health team to arrange an appointment either in their own home or in an agreed neutral environment.

The assessment visit will take about an hour. The patient will be asked to take part in a comprehensive assessment of their needs, including an assessment of risk, and the assessor will talk to the patient's relatives or carers where appropriate and where the patient agrees for this to happen. The assessor will develop, monitor and review a written plan of care for the patient using the care programme approach process.

The assessor or another team member will, with the patient's agreement visit, them on a regular basis to monitor the care plan and their recovery.

The community mental health team offers extended periods of on-going assessment and treatment and patients may be involved with the service for 6 to 18 months. Some people will recover and be discharged earlier than this and some people may benefit from a longer period of involvement.