Monday, 24 February 2014

Crisis Care Concordat Part One - access support before crisis point

[note I will be splitting the Crisis Care Concordat into four parts according to the four main areas that it is aiming to improve]

Once upon a time all of these important people got together and suddenly realised where they'd been making mistakes in situations with those in a mental health crisis. Everyone thought it was lovely that they'd finally realised but some were sceptical if things would change... And then the Crisis Care Concordat was born!

The 'joint statement' is basically a promise to make changes to both the care those in a mental health crisis receive and also improvements in prevention and early intervention in order to prevent more crisis occurring. 'The vision' explained that the bulk of problems and criticisms seems to lie with when services need to work together when helping a person in a mental health crisis.

The Concordat is broken up into four main areas (and so are these posts); the ability to access support before crisis point, access to urgent and emergency treatment when in a crisis, receiving the right quality of care during the crisis and recovery; staying well and working to prevent future crisis.

Mind (https://www.mind.org.uk/) worked with service users and carers to form statements  expressing the expectations around crisis situations. The first, is about access to support before crisis point; which includes carers and service users being aware of who they can contact on any given day and at any given time.
The part that stood out to me is the expectation that your judgement is trusted when telling professionals you are in crisis. This is such a key part because in the beginning of my mental ill health, professionals regularly advised me to call services before crisis point. But then I found that when I did do, the response was somewhere along the lines of "you can't be that poorly if you can ask for help." And from there I realised that professionals took more notice if you actually acted rather than just telling them what you might want to do. It'd be looked on as 'if you really wanted to do it, you wouldn't ring us!' I think the person actually diagnosed with the Disorder is the expert on it; no one can imagine it or guess. We are the best judges and although I know that with some mental health illnesses people may be too poorly to realise they're in crisis, if you do notice it getting harder than the last thing you need is to be knocked back. 'Experts by experience' they call it
The Concordat goes as far as to suggest different services to be set up  in local areas to provide early intervention services e.g. crisis resolution home treatment teams, voluntary short stays in Hospital and access to crisis houses. It is for the already established local services to decide what is missing for service users in a crisis. Joint care planning is an essential element in preventing crisis.


To read the concordat yourself and make your own opinions, you'll find it here: https://www.gov.uk/.../36353_Mental_Health_Crisis_accessible.pdf