The national scheme provides funding for clinics, crisis cafés, and other community services designed to prevent people from reaching crisis point, as well as develop new approaches to support those who do. Launched by the Prime Minister last year, the Beyond Places of Safety fund follows the success of a previous scheme which helped to develop hospital-based Places of Safety for people experiencing a crisis to avoid them ending up in police cells. Since the start of the scheme the numbers of detentions in police cells under the Mental Health Act has fallen by more than 90 percent.
The successful bid was developed by RCHT through Cornwall’s Crisis Care Concordat Steering Group. Chaired by Dr Paul Cook, NHS Kernow Clinical Lead for Mental Health, the group aligns local and national priorities, including peninsula-wide objectives to bring front line staff together to manage crisis.
The new modular hub will see staff from RCHT’s safeguarding service (adults, children and midwifery); psychiatric liaison; complex care and dementia; Addaction; Shelter; SEAP Advocacy; child and adolescent mental health in-reach and perinatal mental health teams based in a single location so they can provide prompt, joined up care for people who are vulnerable to, experiencing, or recovering from a mental health crisis. Representatives from talking therapies, Outlook Southwest, police and CFT’s home treatment teams will also be invited to use space within the hub.
“We are delighted to have been successful in securing new investment for Cornwall to deliver this exciting new scheme” said Tim Francis, NHS Kernow’s head of Mental Health and Learning Disability commissioning.
“All health and care partners are committed to working together to join up mental health services in Cornwall so we can better meet the needs of vulnerable people with complex mental health issues. This funding will help us to achieve this by setting up an integrated clinical hub”.
“IMPACT will help us to build on the services which are already available to patients in crisis when they attend the emergency department” added Lerryn Hogg, RCHT’s Manager for Mental Health, Learning Disabilities and Autism.
“We recognise that many of these people have a range of complex needs which require innovative interventions from different services to support them. Creating a single location will help strengthen joint working by breaking down barriers which will, in turn, enable us to develop more effective crisis pathways and improve patient experiences.
“The teams will provide a rapid response, assessment and shared care approach to support patients within RCHT during crisis. They will also signpost patients to community services, support relapse prevention and help reduce frequent attendances.
“I am excited and proud that we now have the opportunity to further integrate our services with colleagues from across the health and social care community and look forward to working together to develop this unique and innovative vision.”
Announcing the funding Jackie Doyle-Price, Minister for Mental Health and Inequalities, said.
“The last place anyone experiencing a mental health crisis should be is in a busy emergency department, let alone a police cell.
“We are funding a range of innovative local projects that will provide a safety net for those at risk of mental health crisis and make sure they receive the care they need in a safe and secure setting. This builds on our previous grant scheme and will strengthen essential services to help prevent people from reaching crisis point, whilst improving support for those who do.”