NHS England has announced the strengthening of mental health crisis teams and implementation of additional mental health support provisions as part of the NHS Long Term Plan.
Funds worth more than £200 million have been allocated to local areas for transforming urgent and emergency mental health care through a network of services during the next two years. Currently, less than half of the NHS mental health crisis teams provide care on a 24/7 basis, but under the new plans, all teams will offer round the clock support. The funding will also support the implementation of additional crisis services such as safe havens, crisis cafes and crisis houses across all regions, which are much favoured by the patients.
NHS crisis teams comprise mental health professionals, nurses, social workers, pharmacists and support workers who provide care at home to individuals experiencing a mental health crisis, who are otherwise likely to be hospitalised for psychosis, self-harm or suicidal feelings. The teams provide a range of services from the administration of medication to support with money, housing and prevention of future crisis situations.
Sir Simon Stevens, NHS chief executive, said: "This means people will be able to self-refer in the same way they can for urgent physical health care. And it will also help relieve pressure on other emergency services including A&Es, the police and ambulances.”