Partnership makes plan to improve mental health care in Bradford and Airedale

Services and organisations across Bradford and Airedale have developed an action plan for improving the care for people in a mental health crisis as part of the Mental Health Crisis Care Concordat.

The three local NHS clinical commissioning groups (CCGs): Airedale, Wharfedale and Craven, Bradford City and Bradford Districts, West Yorkshire Police, Bradford Council, Bradford District Care Trust, MIND, Sharing Voices, Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and Airedale NHS Foundation Trust all came together to sign the concordat in December and have now developed a joint plan of action for how they will work together to improve services.

Janice Simpson, chair of the district-wide Mental Health Partnership, said: “All the local organisations across Bradford and Airedale involved in agreeing the local Crisis Care Concordat action plan are delighted that our plan has been well received by the minister for care and support. The action plan is now approved and available on the national Crisis Care Concordat website.

“This is a real step forward in transforming the care and support available to people experiencing a mental health crisis; and as a partnership we will continue to work together to make sure the plans make a real difference to the lives of people who have mental health needs within the district.“

The Mental Health Crisis Care Concordat is a national agreement between services and agencies involved in the care and support of people in crisis. It sets out how organisations will work together better to make sure that people in crisis receive urgent mental health care.

In February 2014, 22 national bodies involved in health, policing, social care, housing, local government and the third sector came together and signed the concordat. It focuses on four main areas: access to support before crisis point; urgent and emergency access to crisis care; quality of treatment and care when in crisis; and recovery and staying well.

Care and support minister, Norman Lamb, said: “I want to congratulate Bradford and Airedale for its innovative plans to improve mental health crisis care. The ongoing commitment from local services in Bradford and Airedale will mean that anyone with mental illness gets the right care in the right place and, crucially, vulnerable youngsters needing mental health treatment won’t end up in police cells.

"I look forward to seeing how plans in Bradford and Airedale develop to make positive changes for good.”

Policing minister, Mike Penning, added: “Improving the way people with mental health problems are treated by police is a priority for this Government. Vulnerable people should be treated with respect and compassion by officers but clearly health professionals are best placed to give those that need it the proper health care and support.

“The Crisis Care Concordat sets clear expectations around the standard of crisis care people should be able to expect and it is a huge step forward that every local area has signed their commitment. We must keep up momentum on this.

“The Concordat is part a range of successful projects this Government has implemented. In street triage pilot areas the number of people being detained under the Mental Health Act has fallen by an average of 25%, and over 8000 people have been treated by mental health professionals under Liaison and Diversion schemes.”

Paul Farmer, chief executive of Mind, the mental health charity, said: “We are really pleased to see organisations getting together locally to work out how they will improve the care of people in mental health crisis. We know that where excellent crisis care exists, it saves lives, but too often people fall through the cracks between different services and don’t get the help they need. Local health services, local authorities, the criminal justice system and voluntary organisations must deliver a joined-up service and learn from each other to truly provide the best possible care.”

For more information about the concordat, visit www.crisiscareconcordat.org.uk

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