The Department of Health and Social Care has announced that it is investing in provision for more tailored emergency care for those experiencing a mental health issue.
The new investment will see £150 million being allocated up until April 2025, with the aim of better supporting those who are experiencing or at risk of experiencing mental health crises. This includes better emergency care, more support in the community through specialised mental health ambulances, more crisis services, and improved health-based places of safety.
Steve Barclay, Health and Social Care Secretary, said:
“With the health systems facing huge challenges this winter from the rise in flu, ongoing Covid cases and the impact of the pandemic, we need to ensure people are still receiving the right specialist care.
“These dedicated facilities will ensure patients experiencing a mental health crisis receive the care they need in an appropriate way, whilst freeing up staff availability including within A&E departments.
“These schemes – along with the up to 100 ned mental health ambulances – will give patients across the country greater access to high-quality, tailored support when needed the most.”
Up to 100 of the new mental health ambulances will be procured with the funding, allowing for the transportation of specialist staff directly to patients, where they will then be able to deliver support on scene or transfer them to the nearest appropriate place for care.
New projects centring on supporting the provision of mental health crisis response will also be delivered through the funding, with 150 off them being provided to improve urgent care. These projects include over 30 looking at providing crisis cafes, crisis houses and similar safe spaces.
There are also to be improvements to NHS 111 and crisis phone lines to be rolled out with assistance from this funding.
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said:
“People in mental health crisis deserve compassionate care in a safe and appropriate setting, Too often, they end up in A&E when they should be receiving specialist treatment elsewhere,
“This important funding will make sure they get the help they need, while easing pressures on emergency departments and freeing up staff time – which is a huge priority for the government this winter.”