Camden Crisis Houses offer effective alternative to in-patient beds

10 September 2015

Innovative, out-of-hospital care has helped hundreds of North London residents to recover from mental ill-health between 2008 and 2014, a new report reveals.

The inaugural London Mental Health Fact Book, published by the Cavendish Square Group of NHS trusts, reveals how the Acute Services from Camden and Islington NHS Foundation Trust has been supporting patients suffering with mental ill-health on the road to recovery at two out-of-hospital Crisis Houses.

The first, North Camden Crisis House, opened in 2008 and the second, Rivers Crisis House, opened in 2014. Both houses have an average occupancy rate of 93% and have treated 366 people between April 2013 and March 2014.

The North Camden Crisis House, a six bed unit, opened as a result of a 10 year campaign by mental health service users in Camden. Through a collaborative effort, they have managed to achieve a space where service users feel valued and self-empowered.

With mental ill health costing the London economy £26 billion per year, the Crisis Houses provide a cost-effective alternative to an inpatient hospital stay, according to Katie Clayton, Operational Manager for Camden Acute Services.

Ms. Clayton said “People who use Camden’s Crisis Houses live with severe and enduring mental health conditions with common diagnoses of psychoses, personality disorders, bipolar affective disorders as well as long term physical health issues such as diabetes, hypertension and chronic pain.

“On admission, more than 80 percent of people present with self-harm and plans to end their life. On discharge most people (77%-83%) return to their homes, supported by a wide range of community mental health services.

“Most of the debate around mental health care and mental health funding focuses too closely on inpatient beds. Camden’s Crisis Houses offer a compelling and cost effective alternative to inpatient care for seriously unwell patients.”

The Cavendish Square Group’s London Mental Health Fact Book offers a collection of facts, figures, thought-provoking articles, essays and case studies which explore some of the issues that mental health professionals in London are currently facing.

The Cavendish Square Group is a collaboration of the ten London NHS trusts responsible for mental health services in the capital. It offers a collective voice for these organisations and for the broader mental health community including clinicians and patients.



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