Recommendations for urgent and emergency mental health care

NHS Clinical Commissioners and RI International publish recommendations for urgent and emergency mental health care | via NHSCC

NHSCC RI
Image source: http://www.nhscc.org

A new report, ‘Be the change: Ensuring an effective response to all in psychiatric emergency equal to medical care,’ outlines ten recommendations that if fulfilled would make urgent and emergency psychiatric health care ‘minimally adequate’, and calls on governmental agencies, policy makers and health and social services to take radical action to address inequalities and improve mental health crisis care.

The recommendations were agreed by delegates at an international summit in May 2018, hosted by NHS Clinical Commissioners and RI International. The ten recommendations, aimed at government, policymakers and those implementing health and social services, are to:

  1. End the current fragmentation of care through an integrated, systematic approach to behavioural health crisis care at the national level.
  2. Actively develop crisis service alternatives to the usual emergency measures of formal assessment and psychiatric inpatient care.
  3. Include special consideration to cater for armed forces veterans.
  4. Implement an integrated health information exchange capable technology solution to enable seamless care across organisations.
  5. Develop balanced scorecard dashboards that display real-time, meaningful data and outcome measures that support continuous quality improvement.
  6. Embed users, peers and carers should be embedded in the design and leadership of crisis systems; peer support staff should be trained and integrated in crisis service delivery.
  7. The zero-suicide aspiration should be owned by governmental agencies, policy makers and those implementing health and social services.
  8. Family and friends should be fully engaged in crisis care and inappropriate barriers created by confidentiality or privacy need to be sensitively overcome.
  9. Implement a single national three-digit crisis hub number that drives easy access in which all callers are welcome, the crisis is defined by the caller, and which is promoted via intelligent social media to get the word out to those who need it.
  10. Significant system-wide investment is needed to deliver these recommendations.

The report also concludes that the aim must be to provide 100% access to services to those in a behavioural health crisis and to aspire to zero suicide in healthcare settings. It calls for an approach equal to medical care to ensure an effective response to all in psychiatric emergency.

Full report: Be the change. Ensuring an effective response to all in psychiatric emergency equal to medical care. Recommendations from the first international summit on urgent and emergency behavioural healthcare

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