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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Telephone: 020 3317 3500
In an emergency
C&I has moved the service we normally offer in emergency departments to our 24-hour Mental Health Crisis Assessment Service, at St Pancras Hospital. The service will see people in need of urgent care so that they do not have to go to a hospital emergency department unless they have an urgent medical need. Emergency departments are under unprecedented pressure due to COVID-19 – the illness caused by coronavirus. We are urging people in mental health crisis to telephone our 24/7 crisis line on 0800 917 3333 or contact their usual community mental health team. If service users attend the 24-hour Mental Health Crisis Assessment Service in person we will see you but we urge you to contact the crisis line in advance for advice to ensure you are only leaving home when absolutely necessary.