Mental Health Crisis Assessment Service marks its one-year anniversary

As the UK marks one year since the first COVID-19 lockdown in March 2020, we are marking another anniversary closer to home – the first birthday of our Mental Health Crisis Assessment Service (MHCAS).
The service was set up in just 10 days in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and to try and support the wider NHS system. The introduction of this service means that those in a mental health crisis can now be seen at our St Pancras Hospital site rather than in busy A&E departments.
Within just one week of launching the new service, the team started accepting referrals 24/7, and since March 2020, the team has taken more than 3,500 referrals.
The work carried out by the team was recently recognised at the prestigious HSJ awards, when MHCAS was shortlisted in the Mental Health Innovation category.
Other key achievements include a 92% reduction in 12-hour wait breaches in emergency departments and a 5% reduction in mental health inpatient admissions.
Debbie May, Senior Service Manager, said: “We are really proud of what we have achieved during the past 12 months. Nurses, support workers and doctors from our liaison and crisis teams have been working so hard to treat people and refer them to the best service to meet their needs.”
“Emergency departments have been under unprecedented pressure due to COVID-19, and we’re glad to have been able to support the wider NHS system and give patients the best care most appropriate to their needs.”
Angela McNab, Chief Executive, said: “I’d like to congratulate the MHCAS team on reaching this milestone and for everything they have done to keep some of our most seriously-unwell service users safe and well-cared for.
“Launching a new service in the midst of a global pandemic is a fantastic achievement and I am in awe of the team for everything they have accomplished over the last 12 months.”

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