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On Thursday 25 February, the first London-wide crisis care conference is being held to further improve mental health services through celebrating joint work across North West London.

25 February 2015

Great minds think alike

Faster access to care for people in mental health crisis in North West London is being delivered under the ‘Mental Health Crisis Care Concordat’.

On Thursday 25 February, the first London-wide crisis care conference is being held to further improve mental health services through celebrating joint work across North West London and learning from other good practice across the capital.

The concordat is an agreement between services, organisations and members of the public across the eight boroughs who are working together to improve care for people in a mental health crisis.

Twenty-five organisations including NHS North West London Collaboration of Clinical Commissioning Groups, GP practices, mental health and ambulance trusts, police, local authority and other services and agencies have worked together to deliver a joint plan of action (agreed in 2014), which 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 
  • recovery and staying well.

One of the first services to launch in November last year, through this collaborative approach, was a new 24/7 single point of access (SPA) service for urgent and emergency referrals. 

Selena Cox, Single Point of Access Service Manager at Central and North West London NHS Foundation Trust (CNWL) explains: “One phone call from a patient, family member or a GP, to this new service is all that is needed to get help, which has significantly improved access to mental health services.”

This first phase of the SPA is being run by CNWL across the boroughs of Harrow, Hillingdon, Brent, Kensington and Chelsea and Westminster and has received more than 2,000 referrals, since launch. The service will be rolled out across Ealing, Hammersmith and Fulham and Hounslow with West London Mental Health NHS Trust in the spring. 

Collaborative working is key to the success of the concordat and new and improved services would not have been developed without patients and carers with direct mental health experience. Working with patients and their families has provided a unique opportunity to identify bottle necks in the system and make improvements not only for patients, but GPs, carers and the police. 

Dr Fiona Butler, Chair of the North West London Mental Health and Wellbeing Transformation Board said: “It is important that we come together to celebrate and share our successes. The Mental Health Crisis Care Concordat is ensuring that more local people are able to live well in their communities and, should they have a mental health crisis, they are treated quickly, effectively, as close to home as possible.”

“We know it is essential that when someone has a mental health problem and they are in crisis that they can reach out and they get the support they need as swiftly as possible. The concordat will continue to develop so that more people have the confidence and knowledge to access the right mental health support.”



Notes to editors:

North West London covers a population of two million people of which 32,000 are living with serious mental illness and with highest incidences of serious mental illness in the country.