Earlier this month the government set out plans for reform of the NHS. Amongst other things the intention is to support more joined up care – and enable greater integration of services across the NHS, voluntary sector and local authority. A community-based mental health crisis First Response Service (FRS) was cited by the Secretary of State as a case study of what this joined up care looks like in practice.
At Richmond Fellowship we are delighted to see crisis provision used so clearly as a great example of sector partners working together to deliver better care to the people who need it, when they need it.
In 2015 Derek Caren, our Chief Executive said: “As a voluntary sector organisation we’re committed to playing our part in creating joined-up services that can truly provide the best possible care for people with mental health problems, especially in a crisis situation when individuals are at their most vulnerable.”
We know that presenting at A&E shouldn’t be the only option available to someone experiencing a mental health crisis. We also know the pressure NHS Trusts are facing in terms of unnecessary hospital admissions and delayed discharges for mental ill-health.
We have now been pioneering crisis provision for over 17 years – from our Crisis Cafes and Safe Havens offering immediate support and signposting to our Crisis Houses for people needing step down support from hospital, or intensive support to stop then from going into hospital in the first place.
We are justifiably proud of these services, the people they support and the staff that power them. Crisis services, and increased partnership working, are going to be needed ever more in the months and years ahead to deal with increasing (and increasingly complex) mental health needs. We are glad to see that the proposed NHS reforms recognise this, and the power of crisis interventions. Yet from the outside we know it might be hard to understand what a crisis service actually is and how it works in practice.
That’s why this week, across all our social media, we’re going to be focusing in on our Crisis Services. We’ll be hearing from the people we support and our frontline staff, and we’ll be sharing images and statistics that bring the services to life. Please follow the week on #OurCrisisServices – and share with anyone you think should know about our crisis services. And if you want to find out more about commissioning or partnering with us in your area please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org