The Mental Health Crisis Concordat is a national multi-agency commitment to improve the experience and outcomes for people facing mental health crisis. Linked to the national commitment to achieve “parity of esteem” between how we respond to mental health and physical health needs, the signatories to the concordat commit to the following:
“We commit to work together to improve the system of care and support so people in crisis because of a mental health condition are kept safe and helped to find the support they need – whatever the circumstances in which they first need help – and from whichever service they turn to first.
We will work together, and with local organisations, to prevent crises happening whenever possible through prevention and early intervention. We will make sure we meet the needs of vulnerable people in urgent situations. We will strive to make sure that all relevant public services support someone who appears to have a mental health problem to move towards Recovery.
Jointly, we hold ourselves accountable for enabling this commitment to be delivered across England.”
Principally the NHS, local authorities and criminal justice system are involved. Key partners include: the Department of Health, Home Office, Mind, NHS England, police services, ambulance services, community mental health trusts, social services, children’s mental health, Health Education England, Public Health England, General Practitioners and CCGs,
The concordat requires that “localities” adopt the Concordat and develop:
A local Mental Health Crisis Declaration that brings together the key agencies to commit to “work together to continuously improve the experience of people in mental health crisis in their locality”
NHS England has advised that all declarations and action plans must be agreed locally and uploaded to a national system by 31 December 2014.
The expectation of NHS England is that this process would be led by the local mental health commissioners
The Concordat defines a set of principles which all services involved in crisis care should adhere to.
These are used as the foundation for the declaration and action plans for local organisations across Thames Valley; in addition there is a further objective specifically for commissioners, ‘Commissioning to allow earlier intervention and responsive crisis services’.
The Department of Health has established a national Crisis Care Concordat team to support localities in developing plans as well as a dedicated website with additional information and templates. www.crisiscareconcordat.org.uk
At a regional level Strategic Clinical Networks (SCNs) for Mental Health are also actively supporting developments.
The focus for SCNs is to support the local development of plans as well as coordinating a wider regional alignment with partners such as crime and emergency response teams.
The Thames Valley MHDN network facilitated an event on 17 September, supported by the Department of Health
The day was facilitated by Stuart Bell, Chief Executive of Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust and there was over 100 participants.