Specialist mental health crisis teams now operate in every major A&E

As reported by NHS Providers, it has been announced that all major A&E departments in England house specialist mental health professionals

With increasing numbers of people accessing A&E departments with mental health issues, the NHS is creating better access to quick, specialist care.

Every consultant-led A&E department in the country now has a specialist psychiatric liaison service for treating patients needing emergency mental health support.

Additionally, a national survey into psychiatric support in England found that over two-thirds of those teams are on duty at all times. As recently as 2016, it was two-in-five.

Responding to the announcement, the director of policy and strategy at NHS Providers, Miriam Deakin said:

“We are pleased to see the progress that has been made in expanding liaison services to ensure that patients with mental health needs are treated by specialists in emergency departments.

“This is particularly welcome given that our recent report, Mental health services: addressing the care deficit, identified how demand for these services is outstripping supply.

“There is significant unmet need and expertise is required, not just in acute settings but right across the system.

“The continuing increased investment in these services is therefore welcome.

“It is vital that these services are adequately resourced.

“They need the right investment and workforce in order to genuinely meet the needs of mental health patients who seek treatment during a crisis.

“Capital investment is also needed to ensure the environment in A&E is safe and supports appropriate care, assessment and treatment.

“It is also vital that providers and commissioners work together to ensure joined-up care across all pathways.”

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