A dedicated new vehicle to help respond to mental health incidents is already making a positive difference in Mid and South Essex just eight months after it launched.
The Mental Health Joint Response Car was launched in April 2023. The East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust (EEAST) provides the vehicle and emergency clinicians, with mental health professionals from Essex Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust (EPUT) also joining the team.
The scheme is supported by the Mid and South Essex Integrated Care Board, and is yet another example of effective joint working across the NHS to improve patient outcomes.
Latest figures show that the service is already having an impact on how EEAST responds to mental health emergencies, with approximately five patients a day receiving help from the joint response vehicle. As of 10 December 2023, 1,160 individual patients have been helped by this dedicated service. The service is also helping to reduce pressure on Accident & Emergency departments too, with 83% of patients who were seen face to face by the Mental Health Joint Response Car avoiding the need to go to hospital.
“The Mental Health Joint Response Car has proven to be a huge asset to mid and south Essex, for people in mental health crisis. It provides the most appropriate response, avoiding the need to attend A&E departments and still access mental health support.
“The feedback has been very positive and we look forward to introducing a second vehicle in the near future.”Claire Fuller, Mental Health Advanced Practitioner at EEAST, said:
“I’m really pleased to see the difference the Mental Health Joint Response Car is already making to the lives of people experiencing mental health crisis in just a short space of time.
“Hospital isn’t always the right place to be and the service allows us to give patients the right help quickly and in the right environment.
“Our ambulance colleagues and mental health practitioners will always use their expertise to explore the best options for each patient they see, and work with them and their loved ones to make sure they have ongoing support that best suits their individual needs.”Natasha Dominique, Operational Service Manager for the Crisis Response Service for Mid and South Essex at EPUT, said: