The Care Quality Commission (CQC), in its review on the help given to people in need of urgent mental health care, found that the mental health care system was ‘struggling to cope”. The investigation was carried out as a result of the UK government and mental health care services and agencies signing the Crisis Care Concordat, which promised round-the-clock services to people in a mental health crisis. The CQC looked into telephone advice, mental health staff, as well as intensive support at home for people who are suicidal, having serious panic attacks or psychotic episodes.
Many people have said they felt they received better assistance from the police and ambulance crews, or community mental health teams and volunteers, than from the medical and mental health professionals. Using analysis of national data, inspections of services and surveys of patients, the CQC said that people are receiving inadequate support.
The report will not come as a surprise
Paul Farmer, Chief executive of Mind, said: “The report will not come as a surprise to anyone who has found themselves in crisis or who is involved in supporting people when they are at their most unwell. We take for granted that when we have a physical health emergency we will get the help we need urgently. It should be no different for mental health.”
Patients’ concerns not taken seriously
According to the report, only a third of patients felt their concerns were taken seriously and that they had been treated with compassion and warmth by A&E staff. In light of the Crisis Care Concordat’s targets, which include support before a crisis point, urgent andemergency care, quality treatment and aftercare, the CQC’s mental health lead, Dr Paul Lelliot says the report’s findings must “act as a wake-up call” to address the gaps in mental health crisis care.