THE NHS in Hambleton and Richmondshire is asking for suggestions for improving mental health services for adults and older people.

Two public engagement events are being held May 10 and 11 to discuss the issue ahead of a public consultation on the options which is due to start in July.

Inpatient services for adults and older people are provided from two wards at the Friarage Hospital in Northallerton. A range of community mental health services is also provided.

Feedback from the public received to date indicates that most people would prefer to be supported at home or in their community, whenever possible.

The NHS is now asking for people’s views on how this can be achieved for mental health patients and how they can improve the standard of care for those experiencing a mental health crisis.

They also want to know what they can do to reduce the need for hospital admission and to keep the length of stay in a hospital setting to a minimum.

The chief officer of the clinical commissioning group, Janet Probert, said: “Care closer to home should be available for people with both physical and mental illnesses – but in order to understand what adults and older people with mental health problems and their carers need, it’s essential we ask.”

The pre-consultation engagement events will be held at the Golden Lion in Northallerton on May 10 from 4pm to 6pm and at Richmond town hall on May 11, again from 4pm to 6pm.

Both are free but book in advance if possible by emailing or calling 01609-767621 before 5pm on May 5.