News

Ambulance crews allowed access to mental health crisis plans

From November, a pilot NHS Digital programme will allow ambulance crews to see patients’ mental health crisis plans in a bid to cut emergency admissions

From November, a pilot NHS Digital programme will allow ambulance crews to see patients’ mental health crisis plans in a bid to cut emergency admissions

Picture shows an ambulance travelling at high speed in an urban scene. Ambulance crews are to be allowed to see patients’ mental health crisis plans to help cut emergency admissions
Picture: iStock

Ambulance crews are to be given access to patients’ mental health crisis plans to help cut emergency admissions to hospital.

NHS Digital said a pilot programme starting at the end of November will give some ambulance staff in England access to patients’ customised mental health crisis plans available on a digital database.

Without access to these plans, some clinical decisions are delayed until patients are taken to emergency departments or referred to other health professionals who can see this information, it said.

Since December 2018 more than 85,000 mental health crisis plans have been added to the digital database across England, called the National Record Locator system.

Fewer wasted trips to emergency departments

NHS Digital’s head of integrating care programme Mike Walker said the database is important because it means ambulance staff are less in the dark about the people they are helping.

‘Having access to the right information at the right time will mean fewer wasted trips to overstretched A&Es and better care for patients,’ he said.

The next phase of the pilot is expected to be in place in March 2020. This will include digital child health records being shared by child health organisations and health visiting services.

Mental health nurses working in the community will also be able to access plans as part of the pilot.

Locations included in November pilot

  • South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust
  • Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust
  • Cheshire and Wirral Partnership NHS Foundation Trust
  • Cumbria Partnership NHS Foundation Trust
  • Humber NHS Foundation Trust
  • North East Ambulance Service NHS Trust
  • North West Ambulance Service NHS Trust
  • Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust
  • London Ambulance Service NHS Trust
  • Somerset Partnership NHS Foundation Trust
  • Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust
  • Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust

In other news

This is a free article for registered users

This article is not available as part of an institutional subscription. Why is this? You can register for free access.

Jobs