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Government rejected proposals for four-hour waits for mental health emergencies

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firemonkee57

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Mar 23, 2009
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Government rejected proposals for four-hour waits for mental health emergencies

The government rejected proposals to guarantee that NHS mental health teams would respond to emergencies within four hours because it didn’t know how much it would cost to make sure services could meet the target.

The proposals are contained in a series of options papers for mental health access standards drawn up by the Department of Health and NHS England last summer. The documents, released to Community Care under the Freedom of Information Act, were produced as part of the government’s commitment to introduce the first waiting times standards for mental health from April 2015.

The options

The introduction of waiting time standards to mental health has been hailed as a landmark moment for the sector. Two targets were approved and will be introduced from this April. These will require 95 per cent of patients referred to talking therapies to be seen within 18 weeks, and 50 per cent of people experiencing a first episode of psychosis to start treatment within two weeks. The documents released under FOI give an insight into the other targets, including several related to acute care, that were considered but rejected. These were:

A guarantee that crisis teams would respond to most urgent cases within four hours and less urgent cases within 24 or 48 hours depending on need;
A guarantee that people detained in police custody under section 136 of the Mental Health Act would have assessments completed within four hours after their detention – a move that would require extra Approved mental health professional (AMHP) capacity out-of-hours;
A national rollout of a ‘good practice’ crisis team model from Bristol that would ensure people could get a response 24 hours a day and 7 days a week;
A requirement for every police force to have a mental health street triage scheme;
The national rollout of a pilot scheme testing out talking therapies for people with severe mental illnesses such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.


Government rejected proposals for four-hour waits for mental health emergencies | Community Care
 
Kerome

Kerome

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Sep 29, 2013
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Sounds like they were aiming for a significant improvement over the current standards, where it can take days (from my experiences when I lived in the UK). It's good to know there are some people who still have some ambition, even if the government blocks them.
 
SomersetScorpio

SomersetScorpio

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Aug 17, 2012
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It's a pity but I can't say i'm surprised that the government rejected these proposals.
I would really like to see all of these suggestions implemented and practised, but it's clear to me this Government values money over people's lives.
 
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