Joint Mental Health Response Car goes live

Mental health joint response car

A mental health response car that is a joint initiative involving Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust and the East of England Ambulance Service is now live across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough.

The ambulance response car will be crewed by a paramedic and a specialist mental health practitioner and will respond to 999 calls where there is a mental health concern.

Following funding from the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Clinical Commissioning Group, it will operate for the next three months with the aim of reducing hospital attendances and delivering care in a community setting.

Duncan Moore, Clinical Lead with the East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust, said: “Cambridgeshire and Peterborough are the first of the localities within the geography we cover to come on board with this model and we will actively be seeking support to expand it across the region.

“Delivering a health-led response to mental health need is a priority for EEAST. From patient feedback, it was clear the importance of treating patients in mental health need in the right environment which is often away from a busy emergency department and this initiative will also help with an ever-increasing demand being placed on the region’s ambulance service and the wider healthcare system.”

Jamie Secker, Service Manager for CPFT’s First Response Service, said: “To have an ambulance dedicated to helping those in mental health crisis is a really important step forward.

“It means we can offer rapid support to those with a mental health issue in their own home. Instead of a regular ambulance taking people to an acute hospital, which can often be an inappropriate place for someone in a mental health crisis, our crews can triage people at home and arrange appropriate follow up care.

“Overall it will ensure people get the right care at the right time and if the pilot proves successful, we hope to be able to offer the service across Cambridgeshire as well.”

The CCG’s lead GP for mental health, Dr Emma Tiffin said: “It’s wonderful news that this project is being piloted, and that specialist mental health staff can work closely with a rapid response team to deliver vital support in the community.

“To get this initiative off the ground at such a hugely challenging time for the health and care service is fantastic, and will hopefully also support the wider system by providing appropriate and timely care.”

Friday 29th January 2021