Improving Mental Health Services

Following recommendation from the Quality Committee, a Trust Mental Health policy has been developed as part of the Trust’s Mental Health CQUIN work and is designed to inform and underpin the Trust’s development of mental health care provision, which includes dementia. 

The policy is designed to complement the existing multi-agency policies and protocols that exist for mental health regionally and nationally. 

The principles underlying this Policy are in accordance with the Code of Practice: Mental Health Act 1983 Department of Health document, which includes the changes to the Mental Health Act 2007.

The policy confirms roles and responsibilities within NWAS and details the aspects of the Mental Health Act that are relevant to NWAS. The Trust’s approach to education and training and assessing patient experience in relation to mental health are also established within the policy.  Use of restraint, conveyance and the interface with the Mental Capacity Act are also clarified.

NWAS is also:

  • Working with all other statutory services throughout the North West regarding the new national Crisis Care concordat and looking at how to improve the level of service all agencies provide to patients that present in a crisis, this will also look at preventative and post-vention measures.
  • Working towards implementing the Electronic Referral Information Sharing System (ERISS) system which can alert crews to patients who are already being treated by services and will alert the attending ambulance of the presence of care plans for the patient.
  • Looking at innovative projects such as placing mental health practitioners within our control centres to triage calls, provide advice to crews on scene with patients and to review patients history and records in order to signpost the patient to the most appropriate facility (not  necessarily A&E). The Street triage initiative, which sees a mental health practitioner working alongside a paramedic in a response car to provide immediate face to face assessment of patients in crisis, will be evaluated.
  • Approaching the Mental Health Trusts with a view to setting up a dedicated 24/7 advice and information telephone line to give attending crews access to specialists and patient history in live time.
  • Working with the police forces of the North West to improve the response we give to individuals who are either detained under a section of the mental health act or have mental capacity issues to ensure that these people are treated as patients and not criminalised.