Mental illness affects approximately one in four people, and remains the cornerstone of the work Contact Consulting specialise in. We aim to inform whole system service redesign, advise organisations post-incidents, and bring best practice to this challenging area of clinical care. We provide national input on the commissioning landscape and have several publications to our name. We advise organisations regarding CQC preparedness, on quality and governance, domestic homicide reviews, serious incident reviews and strategic development. We have expertise in drug and alcohol services, substance misuse and forensic mental health services. Our clients include NHS commissioners and providers, local authorities, charities and national bodies.

Steve Appleton is also a Mental Health Act reviewer for the Care Quality Commission, & has held senior roles within the NHS.

The challenges of providing effective social care to our population remains central to local authority agendas, given financial constraints.

We advise local authorities on around partnership and integration with the NHS, models for delivery of community based social care, and help to shape the provision of care services for older people and those with physical disability.

Steve Appleton worked in local authority social care provision and management, and worked as an Approved Social Worker for a number of years.

Housing & accommodation

Contact Consulting was founded as an organisation with the housing agenda at its centre. We understand the connections between access to housing support with healthcare and social care issues, including criminal justice and mental health systems and are able to take an overview of these interdependencies.

We have worked with numerous housing associations, local authorities, the NHS centrally, regionally and locally, to develop and deliver new forms of accommodation to meet the needs of older people, and vulnerable groups who may have contact with mental health and learning disability services.

We have also developed national guidance regarding housing and support for older people, for Government departments, and currently lead a national mental health and housing network to promote partnership between housing providers and the NHS. Nigel Appleton has been a senior figure in the housing and home improvement movement for over thirty years.

An aging population presents public bodies and the wider community with a number of challenges. These include the provision of care and support, appropriate accommodation, and the impact of growing rates of dementia.

We have supported NHS and local authority commissioners to implement the national Dementia Strategy. We have reviewed a wide range of accommodation services for older people and been key players in the development of ExtraCare housing models in a large number of local authority areas.

Nigel Appleton’s work has focused on the housing and care needs of older people and he is an internationally recognised authority in this field.

Learning disabilities

Learning disability services have become increasingly high profile following the Winterbourne View scandal. We have been involved in helping the NHS to respond and improve services, and have done this by working to shape new commissioning and service models which are service user-centred. We have conducted quality and governance reviews of specialist learning disability services.

Steve Appleton began his career in learning disability services and brings front line experience to reviews and service redesign, as well as strategic direction.

The healthcare needs of offenders have often been overlooked for both those in custody as well as those in the community. Contact Consulting has worked with prisons, the Probation Service and the NHS on a variety of projects to improve the health of offenders. These have included conducting health needs assessments in prisons, reviewing the quality of mental health care in-reach services, as well as developing strategies where offender healthcare is factored into mainstream system redesign.

Steve Appleton oversaw the transfer of commissioning responsibility from the prison service to the NHS.

We provide expert input to commercial organisations internationally who may be looking to invest, divest or take a stake in healthcare organisations within the UK or elsewhere. This calls upon our knowledge of policy direction, financial challenges, governance, legal and statutory regulation, and Government. This advice ensures that new entrants to the market are given a comprehensive vision of the health environment, and covers risks and opportunities.

We also work with a number of commercial developers by providing housing and care needs assessments which support them in their planning applications. We have attended a number of planning hearings and given expert witness evidence.