Sharing innovation at a national level
An innovative new Mental Health Urgent Care Department was a finalist in the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) Awards for the Mental Health Nursing category last week.
It is the first of its kind in Essex and provides urgent mental health support for anyone over 18 in mid and south Essex, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Although they didn’t win, the team were among 72 teams shortlisted from more than 900 applicants across the award categories.
The service, which has helped more than 2000 people since opening, has received positive feedback received from patients, families and carers, and clinicians.
One person who attended the department with someone who was in mental health crisis said: “I took them there and oh wow, I have never ever seen such amazing service.
“Such caring staff and amazing doctors ever. They were just outstanding.”
The urgent care department opened in March this year and was designed with support from people with lived experience of mental health concerns to ensure it provides a safe, calm and therapeutic environment
The department is led by Essex Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust (EPUT) and staffed by specialist doctors, nurses, and other healthcare professionals from EPUT, Mid and South Essex NHS Foundation Trust, and East of England Ambulance Service. They also work with community services and charities.
Staff work with patients to understand what has triggered their mental health crisis and ensure they receive the right care in the right place, whether that’s at home or in hospital.
Since the department opened, we have seen a reduction in people in mental health crisis being admitted to emergency departments at Basildon, Southend and Broomfield hospitals.
Find out more about the Mental Health Urgent Care Department and how people living in mid and south Essex can access urgent mental health care on our Services page.