NHS England has announced new targets for emergency mental health.
Mental health patients presenting at A&E departments and being referred need to have a response from the psychiatric team within an hour.
Those accessing urgent and emergency mental health services in the community need to be receiving care within 24 hours.
These new standards will be tested during 2019 in various pilot locations.
The long term plan is to introduce these targets country wide by 2020.
Plans were also revealed for children and young people’s services and adult community mental health teams.
12 pilot areas will be invited to trial 4 week waiting times for children and adolescent mental health services.
Melanie Lidstone-Land, Mental Health Advocate at Swain & Co Solicitors comments,
“It’s positive that NHS England is tackling time frames for access to mental health service. Mental illness is a continuing and serious issue in the UK and services have been lacking to say the least. Daily I represent people and their families where a referral to local mental health services was not facilitated quickly or at all. There are occasions where this can have tragic and devastating consequences. It is crucial that when people are in mental health crisis they are able to access health and assistance in a timely fashion and that they have confidence that they will be able to find that help in the same way that people suffering physical illness are confident that an emergency health issue will be dealt with. The failure to provide access to these services for existing or new service users is so dangerous as people, literally, feel that they have nowhere to turn and no one to approach for help and treatment. We must start to take mental health issues more seriously in that regard.”
“I just hope that the NHS puts the funds and resources to deliver. Unfortunately, it becomes acutely obvious that targets are one thing and resources another.”
The mental health law team at Swain & Co Solicitors attend Mental Health Review Tribunals and Managers’ Hearings providing assistance and representation.
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