Last month, a collaborative of 75 organisations including NHS trusts, clinical commissioning groups, police forces, voluntary sector organisations, frontline charities and service user groups, presented key recommendations to the government for improving and delivering high-quality mental health crisis care.
Within their report, the Positive Practice in Mental Health (PPiMH) collaborative identified our crisis assessment suite at Roseberry Park in Middlesbrough, as an example of excellent urgent care provision.
Developed as an alternative to accident and emergency or police facilities, the service provides a place of safety for adults in mental health crisis, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Helen Embleton, urgent care lead at TEWV said “If someone’s mental or emotional state gets worse quickly it’s important that they are able to get help fast. Often people go to accident and emergency departments, the police or contact 111. However, professionals working in these environments are not always best placed to give the support that is needed.
“Having a designated place of mental health safety means people are able to receive the right care, from the right people, in the right place, at the right time – when they most need it.
“Since the crisis assessment suite launched in November 2015 we have supported nearly 12,000 individuals in mental distress mainly via self-referral. We are delighted that our work has been highlighted on a national scale and we will continue to work with our service users and partner colleagues to make sure we offer a safe, responsive crisis service that meets the needs of local people.”
Helen added: “Over the last couple of years crisis services across TEWV have been focussing on delivering quality improvements that enhance collaborative and patient centred care. This has involved increasing multiagency working to reduce wait times, improving access and pathways into services and increasing patient, carer and family involvement. We are also working with other services and agencies to promote alternatives to traditional NHS services, which for some individuals are a more appropriate, preferred option to access support.
“Funding has recently been secured to further strengthen crisis services across Teesside and will see those with lived experience of mental health problems recruited in peer support roles and the introduction of a new mental health helpline and listening service for local people. Services will also be extended to support older people with complex needs as well as people living with dementia.”
Advice on the support available to people experiencing a mental health emergency is available online www.tewv.nhs.uk/crisisadvice.