“Positive” mental health trial extended countywide

Ambulance side shot

Following a successful pilot, the First Response Service (FRS) has been extended to cover the whole of Cambridgeshire.

The pilot was launched earlier this year and provides 24-hour access, seven days a week, 365 days a year, to mental health care, advice and support. It assesses mental health patients in the community and responds to urgent referrals from our crews.

If a crew attends a patient having a mental health crisis but is physically well, the service can refer them to a more appropriate pathway than the A&E, one of which may be taking the patient to a local sanctuary.

A second sanctuary has now opened in Peterborough and offers emotional and practical support for lower acuity patients. The FRS supports Mind, the mental health charity, to provide the Sanctuary service, which also runs in Cambridge.

Crews can make a referral by calling 01480 416 040 and following a telephone triage, patients will be given a face to face assessment, telephone support from FRS or given a place at a sanctuary.

Duncan Moore, Area Clinical Lead for south Cambridgeshire, west Essex and west Suffolk, said: “The pilot has been running well within south Cambridgeshire, managing patients well, and has been very positively received by all staff.

“Please keep using the FRS if you have a patient experiencing a mental health crisis to ensure this valuable programme continues.”

The FRS has also launched an option for patients via 111, by selecting option two. Calls will be answered 24/7 by trained mental health practitioners, who will be able to quickly assess the situation and determine whether an urgent referral is required.

You can watch more on the FRS on YouTube.

Published 29th September, 2016

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