A new vehicle has been launched to help with mental health issues in the Mid and South Essex areas.
The Mental Health Joint Response Car is staffed by an ambulance clinician and a mental health specialist and can help ensure people with mental health emergencies can get the right care. The car is the first of its kind on the roads in Mid and South Essex and follows the successful rollout of similar vehicles in Norfolk.
The vehicle and emergency clinicians are provided by the East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust (EEAST) emergency clinicians while mental health professionals from Essex Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust (EPUT) join the team. The scheme is supported by Mid and South Essex Integrated Care Board.
The vehicle is ready for callouts from 1pm to 1am 7 days a week , and the onboard team can assist with issues involving the legal framework around, for example, the Mental Health Act and Mental Capacity Act and concerns regarding risk to the patient and public.
Dan Phillips – Interim Deputy Clinical Director and Consultant Paramedic for EEAST said: “Our clinicians can make assessments about the physical welfare of patients and can provide pre-hospital care, while the mental health professionals have the ability to triage patients straight into mental health services. This can avoid people with mental health needs being taken to Accident and Emergency departments, which are the wrong place for them to be, and can cause further distress.
“This will also have the secondary benefit of freeing up ambulance crews faster and reducing pressure on emergency departments.”
Alex Green, Chief Operating Officer at Essex Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust (EPUT), said: “We know that hospital emergency departments are not always the right environment for people experiencing mental health difficulties. The urgent response vehicle enables our specialist mental health nurses to work with colleagues from the East of England Ambulance Service to provide immediate crisis care in the community and ensure the most appropriate ongoing care is put in place to meet patient needs.
“I’m really pleased to be working with our partners to launch such a vital service for people experiencing mental health crisis across Mid and South Essex, providing urgent care and support for those who need it most, when they need it most.”
Alfred Bandakpara-Taylor, Deputy Director Adult Mental Health for Mid and South Essex Integrated Care Board said: “We are delighted to be working with our NHS partners to provide this innovative joint response car service for people who experience a mental health emergency across Mid and South Essex, and make it easier and quicker for people to receive mental health crisis care in the community.
“Through this partnership arrangement we will be able to work together to respond to people in mental health crisis in a more supportive and appropriate way. This dedicated resource will enable us to provide a more rapid and specifically skilled intervention for people in their own home and alleviate the need, stress and anxiety of them having to attend Accident and Emergency.
“We have been looking to increase alternative forms of provision for those in mental health crisis – to provide a more suitable alternative to Accident and Emergency – as we recognise that when a persons’ needs escalate to crisis point or they are experiencing a mental health emergency, they do not necessarily have a medical need that requires Accident and Emergency admission, so this new service is a very welcome step in the right direction.”
MEDIA OPPORTUNITY FOR MENTAL HEALTH WEEK May 15 – May 21
We are holding a photo/film opportunity and to meet with the teams that manage and crew the joint response car at be South Woodham Ferrers Ambulance Station at 10.30am on Tuesday May 16th. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org to confirm attendance.