Author Topic: Emergency MH pts to get faster help proposed - Guardian newspaper  (Read 7726 times)

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Offline Rob

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Emergency mental health patients to get help within hour under NHS England plan  ----   Guardian Newspaper
Denis Campbell Health policy editor 22/07/2021

People arriving at A&E suffering a mental health crisis will receive urgent help within an hour under a new plan to bring in treatment targets for those with psychological and psychiatric problems.

NHS England wants to introduce five new waiting time standards specifying how long those in need should have to wait for care, in a drive to reduce what are often long delays.

These new waiting times standards are another key milestone in the journey to putting mental health on an equal footing with physical health, so-called ‘parity of esteem’,” said Sir Simon Stevens, NHS England’s chief executive.

Those set to benefit from a one-hour response include those suffering an exacerbation of schizophrenia, psychosis, extreme anxiety or depression, or having suicidal thoughts, which has led to a breakdown in their mental state.

Under the plans, which are subject to the outcome of a public consultation, the five new targets will mean that:

• People who end up in A&E in a mental health crisis will receive face-to-face care within an hour.

• Anyone referred urgently to community-based mental health services because their psychological health has worsened will help within 24 hours.

• ”Very urgent” referrals should get specialist help within four hours.

• Under-18s and their relatives or carers who seek help from community services should have their first appointment within four weeks.

• Adults referred to the same services will undergo their first “therapeutic intervention” or “a social intervention” or agree a care plan within the same four weeks.

The planned creation of the five targets is intended to give people in England who need mental health care maximum waiting times that closely resemble those which patients accessing physical health help have been covered by for many years, such as a four-hour wait in A&E.

However, experts raised questions over whether existing NHS services can deliver the new waiting times given staff shortages and the explosion in demand for mental health care due to Covid-19.

Mental health charities welcomed the move. “With increasing numbers of people reaching crisis point, it is critical that they get the right mental health support quickly, which these standards would help to achieve”, said Paul Farmer, the chief executive of Mind.

Mark Winstanley, the chief executive of Rethink Mental Illness, said the standards would “act as building blocks on which we can build a potentially first-class model of mental health care”. But he added that delivering them “will depend on the right staff being in post”.

Stevens has made improving access to mental health care a key priority during his more than seven-year tenure as NHS boss, which ends this week, for example through improved help for mothers suffering problems linked to giving birth and also those with an eating disorder.

In the UK, Samaritans can be contacted on 116 123 or email [email protected].
You can contact the mental health charity Mind by calling 0300 123 3393 or visiting
The Samaritans offer support and advice to people feeling suicidal or vulnerable 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Their website is, email address [email protected] or call free on 116 123

________________________ ________________________ ____

Crisis line 0800 1456485. Childline 0800 1111. Samaritans 116 123. Basic First Aid. CALL (MH Helpline Wales) 0800 132737. Mind Cymru 02920395123. Bullying UK. Text help text SHOUT to 85258

Offline Vermilion

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Re: Emergency MH pts to get faster help proposed - Guardian newspaper
« Reply #1 on: July 22, 2021, 02:23:35 PM »
No plans for Wales I see..  ::)

For these proposals to work they need to actually fund mental health services adequately which I doubt that Tories are inclined to do. Plus, they need to fund extra training for a better understanding of mental illness amongst health staff in general, particularly GPs who are usually the first place people go when they start having mental health issues. Perhaps all GP surgeries, need a counselling service because that's often all people need when going through a difficult time thus ensuring greater availability of CMHT services for those with the more severe/complex/long term problems. Implementation of targets like this aren't going to solve the issues of severe underfunding, poor organisation and inadequate training of staff.

Just saying.  :angel:
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Offline purplefiona

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Re: Emergency MH pts to get faster help proposed - Guardian newspaper
« Reply #2 on: July 30, 2021, 02:36:05 PM »
In A&E, when targets of four hour wait maximums were introduced, after 3.5 hours people would then be admitted to a side-room type ward to wait, therefore effectively meeting the target on paper.
I can tell you now that mental health services do not have enough staff to see people within one hour or four weeks etc and that the definitions of being "seen" will be stretched to it's absolute limit in order to meet these targets. It will simple create a two tier A&E system with a different room with different coloured chairs and some HCA who have had a one day training course on mental health filling out care plans. Though TBF that is at least better than not being seen

Also hi again (active here in very early 2000s)
"But I don't want to go among mad people," Alice remarked.
"Oh you can't help that," said the Cat: "we're all mad here. I'm mad. You're mad."