Following this week’s launch of the Mental Health Crisis Care Concordat, the Care Quality Commission (CQC) is reviewing mental health crisis care in England.
The review will gather the views of people who have experienced a mental health crisis, or who have supported a friend or relative through one to share their experiences of the help, care and support they received.
With Care and Support Minister Norman Lamb this week saying that improving crisis care is “a major priority for this Government”, the CQC wants to know how quickly local services respond to deal with crisis cases.
Dr Paul Lelliott, deputy chief inspector of hospitals with lead responsibility for mental health, said: “This work is a key contribution by the CQC to the implementation of the Crisis Care Concordat action plan.
“We know that when a crisis occurs a person may come into contact with their local services in a number of different ways. People who are going through a crisis need the right kind of support quickly. That is why it is so important that when people need help, services respond immediately and work together effectively to meet the person’s needs.”
Services accessed in a crisis can include those regulated by CQC – such as GPs, community mental health services, hospitals and ambulances. The review will consider the roles of those who may play a part during a person’s mental health crisis, including approved mental health professionals and the police.
The majority of the feedback will be collected through an online questionnaire, which will be on CQC’s website until the end of April at: www.cqc.org.uk/mentalhealthcrisis.
CQC will also collect feedback offline and work with mental health charities including Mind to gain their views.
Paul Farmer, Mind’s chief executive, said: “Mind has long been calling for improvements to crisis care including, most crucially, access to the right services at the right time. Recent cuts to NHS funding for mental health has had a huge impact on services, with bed and staffing shortages making it even harder for people to get adequate care, so this review is especially well-timed.
“Excellent crisis care does exist and we want to see the services delivered by the best become the basic standard for all NHS crisis care services. The CQC’s review can help make this happen.”
CQC will be using the information that is shared with it to:
• Build a better picture of where mental health crisis care does and does not works well
• Help select the local areas that CQC inspectors will visit as part of this review
• Identify specific examples of good or poor practice.
Later this year, the CQC will publish a report on its findings from the review. This will look at the help, care and support experienced by people experiencing a crisis, including differences in approach across the country and highlighting good and poor practice where this is found.