Primary Care Mental Health Specialist Service

The PCMHS service provides support and consultation to both the CMHTs and the GPs to bridge between Secondary and Primary Care and to ensure consistent treatment, care to the individual and sustained management in Primary Care.

What is the PCMHS service?

The Primary Care Mental Health Specialist service provides support for a safe and positive discharge from secondary services for people with long term stable mental health conditions (clusters 7, 11, 12) into primary care. Individuals who have been under the PCMHS team in the past can also self-refer back to the PCMHS team if they are in need of our service again. Direct GP referrals are also accepted for individuals with low mood, anxiety disorders and depression (clusters 1, 2, 3).

The Primary Care Mental Health Specialist service spans across Canterbury and Coastal area, South Kent Coast and Ashford. Both a ‘step down’ service – referrals being made directly from the community mental health team – and a ‘step up’ service – referrals from GPs for stable patients in clusters 7, 11 and 12 who might have been previously discharged to just the GP from secondary care and in need of additional support – are provided.

The benefits of the Primary Care Mental Health Specialist service are that it enables people who would otherwise remain in secondary services or who would not be able to sustain discharge in primary care without support to be transitioned safely into primary care. The PCMHS service provides support and consultation to both the CMHTs (Community Mental Health Teams) and the GPs to facilitate this process and can act as a bridge between secondary and primary care to improve communication between services and to ensure consistent treatment, care to the individual and sustained management in primary care. Our team also benefits the community by increasing its mental health service capacity and expertise in primary care.

Our goals

To improve service quality and outcomes for people with mental ill-health, based on recovery principles enabling optimum timely independence so patients will not remain on caseloads for long periods.

To ensure patients get to the right mental health service, sooner.

To increase identification and management of the full range of adult mental health conditions in primary care, including initiatives to improve physical health outcomes for those with a mental health condition.

To support initiatives to reduce the numbers of referrals made directly to secondary care for common mental health conditions.

To provide time limited emotional support to some patients who present with a low to moderate risk but do not require formal psychological or medical treatment at this time, especially those who are socially isolated.

How does it work?

Individuals with long term stable mental health conditions are identified by the CMHT, GP and the PCMHS Team, those who fall into clusters 7, 11 and 12 and have a diagnosis of Schizophrenia, Bipolar affective disorder, recurrent depression and chronic neurotic stress related and somatoform disorders for potential transfer.

The Primary Care Mental Health Specialists will provide recovery focused support to the individual which a step down from the CMHT. We meet with people in their homes and in the community and focus on relapse management and prevention as well as support them with their functional recovery and accessing vocational opportunities.

If an individual is at risk of destabilising we will initially provide more intensive follow up in Primary Care however if they are in need of management from the CMHT and in keeping with NICE guidelines then the Primary Care Mental Health Specialist Team will need to urgently refer the individual back to Secondary Mental Health Services.

Who is Eligible?

An individual is eligible if they are over 18 years of age and registered with Canterbury & Coastal CCG, Ashford CCG or South Kent Coast CCG GP Practice. Also if they fall under cluster 7, 11 or 12 and have been discharged from secondary care or referred by their GP to avoid a referral to secondary care. Referrals can only be accepted from either secondary care via Community Mental Health Teams and from primary care only by a GP or a Practice Nurse.

How do I refer?

A referral letter or the PCMHS referral form is completed and sent with additional information to the following:

Primary Care Mental Health Specialist Team Invicta Health CIC
1 Northgate Canterbury Kent

We can be contacted for discussion or consultation regarding potential referrals at: Tel: 0800 242 5199

Referrals can be emailed, please Click Here for the email address.

Referral Form: GP referral



Invicta Health CIC in conjunction with Encompass are currently running a number of successful psychoeducation courses across Canterbury, Whitstable, Faversham and Sandwich for individuals with a diagnosis of Bipolar Affective Disorder or Psychosis to support them in their recovery.

The groups have helped individuals to be less isolated by meeting others with a similar diagnosis  and have helped them to understand their condition and learn about relapse prevention to enable them to stay well and out of hospital.

The mental health groups that Invicta Health CIC are currently running are:

The Bipolar Psychoeducation Course – 13 week course
Bipolar Leaflet
Bipolar Referral Form

The Wellbeing in Psychosis Course -15 week course
Psychosis Leaflet
Psychosis Referral Form

Invicta Health have also started running ;

The Understanding Emotions Course -12 week course

Understanding Emotions Leaflet
Understanding Emotions Referral Form

    • Re-Register with Invicta Health Learning

      The Invicta Health Learning Management System is having an upgrade! Before we can implement this upgrade we need all eligible staff to complete a short online form confirming their Name, Surgery, Role and accept our new Terms and Conditions. All users MUST re-register by the 31st August to prevent their account being deleted. Click Here […]

    • We’ve Moved!

      Invicta Health’s head office has moved to Innovation House – Sandwich, the Learning and Development Team are now based at Northgate Medical Practice and the Primary Care Mental Health Team are situated between both sites.

    • The Primary Care Mental Health Specialist Service is expanding!

      From the 1st May 2018, Invicta Health CIC will be working closely with Live Well Kent to provide the Primary Care Mental Health Specialist Service across Dartford, Gravesham, Swanley and Swale. For further information on how to refer please contact the PCMHS team via 0800 242 5199 (option 1) or email queries to

  • Primary Care Mental Health Specialist Team Invicta Health CIC

      • Monday - Friday:
      • 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
    • 1 Northgate Canterbury Kent CT1 1WL
    • Email Us
    • Tel: 0800 242 5199
  • Testimonials

    • “My PCMHS’s support has been invaluable. She is highly understanding, respectful, open-minded and non-judgmental. Her listening skills are extremely fine-tuned and beneficial to me as she really ‘hears’ me and gives a voice, which you don’t always feel like you have when you are going through mental distress. She also has a very skilled way of reflecting on what I tell her regarding what’s troubling me and how my condition impacts on my everyday life, which then helps me to gain further insight into my condition. I feel I can tell her anything and I feel free to express all my feelings in my sessions with her. This is extremely valuable as I have a tendency to ‘bottle things up’. She is also very patient and kind and flexible. It’s reassuring to know she would contact my GP if need be. She also has a good working relationship with my GP which is also reassuring. It’s also fantastic that she visits me at home for our sessions. I am a lot more relaxed here and I believe home sessions are of much better quality and assistance to me because of this. It’s great I have easy access to her as I can text her at times of crisis on her work mobile and she replies quickly. Overall I am very lucky to have the PCMHS’s support, she is consistent and informative and I thank her and your service profusely.”

      - South Kent Coast Patient

    • “Thank you for helping me, I have been mentally ill all my life. I don’t know what I should do without the PCMHS help. God bless you all.”

      - South Kent Coast Patient

    • “During the three years my PCMHS has been providing counselling, I have found him to be very supportive and always on time. He is understanding of, and supportive with my anxiety which allows me to relax and be open about how I am feeling in times of distress. My PCMHS’s caring and professional nature is something I have come to rely on and I feel that I would not cope without his continued support.”

      - South Kent Coast Patient

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