This page is a printable version of: https://www.iow.nhs.uk/news/New-Rapid-Response-Vehicle-service-for-people-in-mental-health-crisis-launched-on-the-Island.htm
Date: 27 January 2022
A new Rapid Response Vehicle service has been launched this month by the Isle of Wight NHS Trust as part of a pilot project to support people in mental health crisis in the community.
The specifically allocated rapid response vehicle will be jointly crewed by a paramedic and a registered Senior Mental Health Practitioner from the Isle of Wight NHS Trust Mental Health Liaison Team.
They will respond to calls triaged to this service via NHS111, 999 and direct referrals from Hampshire and the IOW Constabulary.
This new service will be delivered in partnership with colleagues from the Isle of Wight NHS Trust Ambulance Service and will be supported by other agencies, including Hampshire and Isle of Wight Constabulary.
It has been set up as part of the development of the mental health crisis service provision and will extend on the current response service to enable people in mental health crisis to be seen in the community for both physical and mental health needs.
During the pilot phase, which runs from December until March 2022, the service will operate from 6pm to 2am, Wednesday to Sunday.
This is an important step forward to provide access to rapid support for people experiencing a mental health crisis in the community with follow-up care provided by the right service.
Lesley Stevens, Director of Community and Mental Health and Learning Disabilities, Isle of Wight NHS Trust said:
“This integrated health-led response will expand on our offering for people in mental health crisis who otherwise may have been admitted to our Emergency Department or under the Mental Health Act, Section 136.
“This step will lead to a reduction of pressure on our acute services at a time when Covid-19 is already placing services under immense pressure and enable us to deliver specialist support at the point of need our communities. "
Victoria White, Head of the Ambulance Service, Isle of Wight NHS Trust said:
“This joint response vehicle will be dedicated to helping those in mental health crisis in the community where by working together we can attend to their immediate physical and mental health needs.
Combining the skills of a paramedic and a mental health professional maximises the chances of being able to safely manage the patient in the community, enabling us to ensure our patients access the right care, in the right place at the right time.”
Karen Sims, Integrated Mental Health and Learning Disabilities Liaison Team Leader, Isle of Wight NHS Trust said:
"Our Trust team is excited to be part of the development of this rapid response service with our colleagues in the ambulance service.
“Through this partnership we will be able to share our learning and skills to respond to people experiencing a mental health crisis in the community in the most supportive way.
“Instead of them being conveyed to the Emergency Department, which can often be an inappropriate place for someone in mental health crisis, we will be able to offer rapid support in their own home, preventing additional stress and anxiety."
Image: Karen Sims, Integrated Mental Health Liaison Service Team Leader, Graham Thompson, Clinical Support Officer & Paramedic, IOW NHS Trust Ambulance Service and rapid response vehicle.