Assertive Outreach Team Harrogate and Rural District is based at:

Abdale House

49 – 51 Tewit Well Road

Harrogate, HG2 8JJ

Tel number: 01423 557267 or 07770 702377 (clinical nurse specialist)

Fax: 01423 557265

Email: assertive-outreach@nyypct.nhs.uk or richard.allan1@nhs.net

Opening hours: Monday – Friday 9.00am to 5.00pm

About the service

The assertive outreach team (AOT) helps adult individuals who experience severe and enduring mental health problems, and who have a history of non-engagement with services.

Service users referred to the AOT usually experience severe mental illness and are subject to a care plan, with either: a history of multiple or long-stay hospital admissions, difficulty in stabilising their illness or difficulty engaging with services.

Aims of the team

The main aim of the team is to engage with those clients who have shown a reluctance or inability to use mainstream services and who are deemed to be at risk of a deterioration in their mental health and therefore of being unable to live successfully in the community.

The primary function of the team is to help clients to achieve the best possible quality of life, whilst acknowledging the difficulties imposed by their mental health problems.

The service offers assessment of needs and multidisciplinary treatment and intervention.

Treatments and interventions offered

The team aims to maintain the client in the community through active, assertive engagement, practical support and treatment, including symptom management, psycho-social interventions and social inclusion.

Education on managing mental illness is offered for the patient and their carer on topics such as:

  • Medication and side effects
  • Relapse prevention techniques
  • Coping strategies
  • Relaxation techniques
  • Problem solving
  • Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) techniques
  • Support in the community with all aspects of daily living
  • Patient centred approach.

The service also offers:

  • Complex care co-ordination
  • Recovery focused action planning
  • Tenancy support
  • Family intervention
  • Social inclusion focused intervention
  • Physical health screening
  • Pathways back to education, employment and training
  • Pathways out of services

On discharge from the service, the team will ensure a planned move into mainstream community services over an agreed period of time.

The team

The team of health and social care professionals have a reduced caseload and are time rich, allowing them to respond quickly and effectively to patient needs. The assertive outreach team includes:

  • Clinical nurse specialist / psychosocial interventions (PSI) lead
  • Community psychiatric nurse (CPN)
  • Approved mental health professional (AMHP)
  • Community support workers
  • Occupational therapist.

The service has direct links to doctors (consultants and GPs), day services, housing and occupational therapy.

How to access the service

Patients can be referred to the assertive outreach team by a patient’s care coordinator which includes mental health professionals, a hospital ward, day hospital or a community mental health team.

All patients will be assessed by the team over a 3 month period.

During assessment the team will work closely with the patient and their care coordinator to ensure their needs are met appropriately.