15 December 2015

Bristol Crisis service 'excellent' says Royal College

Pensive woman on phoneThe Bristol Crisis service has been ranked highest in the UK by the Royal College of Psychiatrists' Home Treatment Accreditation Scheme (HTAS), meeting 94% of its Type 3 standards, which are those that an "excellent" team would be expected to meet.

The service provides support to anyone in the Bristol area who may be experiencing a mental or emotional crisis. Individuals can call the crisis team at any time of day or night and speak to a trained professional who will make an initial assessment of their situation. Further support, including home visits, assessments and referrals to other services will then follow depending on the individuals' need.

The first national report from HTAS was published last week, and describes the Bristol team as "a motivated and supportive team who work well across geographical locations".

The report also notes that there is excellent input from psychology in the team, good interaction with drug and alcohol services, and that there are crisis houses for men and women available.

Chris Ellis, Consultant Nurse for Intensive Services in the Nursing and Quality Directorate at Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership (AWP) Trust who worked alongside the HTAS team in their review of Bristol services said, "I am delighted to learn that the Bristol Crisis Service is currently ranked highest scoring Crisis Resolution and Home Treatment service in the UK, within the national accreditation scheme.

"We take encouragement from this and hope to achieve accreditation for each of AWP's seven Intensive Teams. I would like to thank again, all of the team members who directly and indirectly support service users and carers during a mental health crisis."

The accreditation process, which began in 2013, involved assessing Bristol's services against a set of evidence-based standards, and included self-reviews followed by a peer review. Staff and service user questionnaires and review meetings took place, and were scored against a range of criteria including the mix of skills in the team, how they link to other services, discharge planning procedures and what information and support is available for service users and carers.

In response to the questionnaire, one service user commented that the team were "very professional and friendly. They put me at ease and made me feel cared for".

The Royal College has upheld the accreditation even though Bristol's mental health services underwent significant changes in October 2014. The Crisis team submitted a self-review to the HTAS at that point, and the College was happy that no further peer review was necessary.

Bristol Crisis services can be contacted 24/7 on freephone 0500 333 0334.

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