Mental health crisis service given thumbs up by inspectors and patients

NHS services in Leeds that support people experiencing mental health crises have been given a glowing report by health service inspectors the Care Quality Commission (CQC).

The Crisis Assessment Service is based at the Becklin Centre near St James Hospital in Leeds. It provides care and assessment for people who are having acute mental health problems and may pose a risk to themselves and others.

In its latest report published on 27 April 2018, the CQC has upgraded its assessment of the service from requires improvement to good. There were a number of positive comments including:

  • staff were kind towards patients and their relatives
  • patients felt staff were approachable and took the time to speak to them and listen to their concerns
  • staff supported patients in an appropriate way and were able to show empathy
  • staff were able to adapt the way they spoke in order to give the correct level of support
  • the service had a positive impact on the length of stay and discharges from the trust’s acute wards, as well as a positive impact on readmissions to the trust within 28 days
  • staff supported patients to access other services which may benefit them
  • staff morale was good, they felt positive about their roles and supported by senior leaders

Judith Barnes, Clinical Operations Manager for the Crisis Assessment Service (pictured), said: “We are thrilled with our report and new rating. This is a result of hard work from everyone in the team who’ve all contributed and made a difference to improving quality of care.

“When the inspectors last came, there wasn’t a good understanding about the role of the short stay crisis assessment unit and how it was being used. We’ve worked on that and we’re now able to demonstrate its positive impact on admissions, length of stay and readmissions to the wards.

“We’ve made environmental improvements and as a result we now fully comply with single sex accommodation standards. We’ve also had new people join the leadership team and it’s great to see that staff feel supported by them.”

What is the crisis assessment service?

The Crisis Assessment Service consists of the single point of access team which is for healthcare professionals to refer patients and for members of the public who feel they need help. The street triage team which responds to requests for help from paramedics and police who believe someone is in mental health crisis. Section 136 suites are for people of any age who have been detained by the police under section 136 of the Mental Health Act, because there is a concern about their safety or the safety of others. There are separate section 136 suites for children and adolescents within the same service.

Find out more on the website.