Men­tal health crises to be treated within four hours in new NHS tar­get

Iran Daily - - Health -

Peo­ple suf­fer­ing a men­tal health cri­sis will re­ceive help within four hours, un­der NHS plans to give such prob­lems the same pri­or­ity as phys­i­cal health.

A 10-year-plan for the NHS is ex­pected to put men­tal health at its cen­ter, amid con­cern about ris­ing lev­els of anx­i­ety and de­pres­sion in younger gen­er­a­tions, ac­cord­ing to The Tele­graph.

The new four-hour tar­get will say those suf­fer­ing acute crises should ex­pect to wait a max­i­mum of four hours for ad­mis­sion to an acute psy­chi­atric ward or to be treated at home, fol­low­ing as­sess­ment.

It puts men­tal health on a par with Ac­ci­dent and Emer­gency (A&E) care, where there is a four-hour tar­get, to be ad­mit­ted or sent home.

This A&E tar­get is it­self un­der de­bate, with a re­view ex­am­in­ing whether mi­nor in­juries should be ex­cluded from the cat­e­gory.

The Royal Col­lege of Psy­chi­a­trists, which has called for men­tal health tar­gets, said that for too long, those suf­fer­ing from such prob­lems had been given too lit­tle pri­or­ity, al­low­ing crises to get worse.

Dr. Adrian James, reg­is­trar of the col­lege, said: “A four hour tar­get would fo­cus minds, and en­sure that men­tal health is given higher pri­or­ity.”

He said that a long lead-in pe­riod would be re­quired, given the cur­rent lev­els of pres­sures on the NHS.

Ear­lier this week, a re­view of the Men­tal Health Act said those suf­fer­ing men­tal health prob­lems were be­ing locked up ‘like crim­i­nals’ and thrown into po­lice vans when they were in need of med­i­cal help

The plan, due to be an­nounced be­fore Christmas, will de­tail mea­sures to boost ear­lier de­tec­tion of can­cer, and ef­forts to en­cour­age health­ier life­styles, with a par­tic­u­lar fo­cus on obe­sity.

It is also ex­pected to call for a wider roll­out of max­i­mum four-week wait­ing times for treat­ment of chil­dren with men­tal health prob­lems.

Si­mon Stevens, the head of the NHS, has said that an ex­pan­sion of men­tal health ser­vices whill form a cen­tral plank of the long term plan, with a ‘ma­jor ramp up’ of care for chil­dren, us­ing Theresa May’s £20 bil­lion fund­ing boost. Mr. Stevens has raised con­cerns that the health ser­vice has been left to ‘pick up the pieces’ of dam­age fu­elled by an ex­plo­sion in so­cial me­dia.

Lev­els of self-harm have risen by 68 per­cent among girls aged 13 to 16 in just three years.

The plan will see a new fo­cus on heart dis­ease, and pre­ven­tion and treat­ment of stroke and heart at­tacks.

Si­mon Stevens, NHS head PA

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