CQC national report 'Right here, right now: mental health crisis care review'
The CQC has released a report raising concerns that concerns that public services, such as local authorities, NHS trusts and clinical commissioning groups, are failing to work together to make sure that people in their local areas have access to crisis care around the clock.
CQC PRESS RELEASE 12.6.15
People who are having a mental health crisis are not always receiving care and support when and where they need it, the regulator has found.
In a national report out today (Friday 12 June), the Care Quality Commission (CQC) has raised concerns that public services, such as local authorities, NHS trusts and clinical commissioning groups, are failing to work together to make sure that people in their local areas have access to crisis care around the clock. Also, it found that healthcare professionals, such as those in A&E, can appear to lack compassion and warmth in how to care for and speak to people who are having a crisis, including those who have harmed themselves.
As part of its review, CQC sought views from people who have experienced different types of mental health crisis care. It found that while 86% of those who had received care and support from charities and volunteers felt that their concerns had been taken seriously by them, only 37% said that they felt this from A&E staff. This is worrying as these professionals should be trained in how to care for and respond to them. In particular, people often reported poor attitudes from staff towards their injuries caused by self-harm. Overall, only 14% of people thought the care they received provided the right response and helped them to resolve their crisis.
Although it is difficult to determine the exact number of people who have a mental health crisis, more than 68,800 people were admitted to a mental health ward for urgent care in England as inpatients in 2013/14.
The experience of a mental health crisis can include suicidal behaviour or intention, extreme anxiety and panic attacks, psychotic episodes (when people may experience delusions, hearing voices and a loss of sense of reality), and behaviour that is considered ‘out of control’ or irrational to the extent that the person poses a risk to themselves or others.
When people experience, or are close to experiencing, a mental health crisis, there should be services available to provide urgent help and care at short notice. This includes advice from telephone helplines, assessment by a mental health professional, intensive support at home or urgent admission to hospital.
CQC has reviewed the quality of these services in England to identify what is working well and what must improve. The review team inspected a sample of locations across England; received a survey return from 1,800 people who have experienced a crisis; and examined national data.
As well as staff training, CQC has identified that there is a clear need for better 24-hour support for people having a crisis, particularly during the hours of 11pm and 5am, as CQC found that during these hours availability and accessibility is poor. This means that people often have to go to A&E departments or even to police cells while a ‘place of safety’ is found for them, rather than receive specialist care straight away.
Full press release
Improving Physical Health for People with Mental Health Conditions
Improving Mental Health Crisis Care
Information Sharing in Mental Health
30 June 2015