Essex Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust (EPUT) is working with health and social care partners across mid and south Essex on the development of an innovative Mental Health Urgent Care Department. This will provide urgent mental health support for anyone over 18 in mid and south Essex.
Hospital emergency departments are not always the right environment for people experiencing mental health problems; the new department will provide an alternative, calm and therapeutic space with access to mental health specialists.
The project has received investment of more than £5m from Mid and South Essex Integrated Care System. Design of the department will meet high standards of comfort and safety, and will involve local health and care partners and people with lived experience of mental health problems.
The first of its kind in Essex, the department is set to open on 20 March 2023. It will be open 24 hours a day, seven days a week and will be located in the Basildon Mental Health Unit. It will be staffed by a team of specialist doctors, nurses, and other healthcare professionals from EPUT, Mid and South Essex NHS Foundation Trust, and East of England Ambulance Service. The service will also provide support from community services and the charity sector. The team will work with people to understand how they are feeling, what has triggered their crisis and provide support to return home or facilitate a referral to an appropriate service.
The new service will form part of the urgent care pathway across Essex. While the department will be open for walk-ins, people should continue to contact their GP or care coordinator in the first instance, or call 111 and select the option for mental health. These services will suggest the best support, which may include attending the urgent care department.
We are excited to be developing a modern mental health urgent care department, tailored to the needs of people experiencing a mental health crisis. The service will complement the urgent mental health services in place in Essex, and will enable us to relieve some of the pressure from local emergency departments, as well as provide a high-quality service for our communities.”Dr Milind Karale, Executive Medical Director at EPUT
We are committed to ensuring local patients are able to receive the best possible care when they need it most, and the new department will see improvements to urgent mental health services across the area.
“These significant changes will not only reduce pressure on vital hospital services, they will allow more patients to be supported locally and improve people’s experience of mental health care.”
The department is being developed in close collaboration with local people who have previously used mental health crisis services, learning from their experience to provide better care.Alfred Bandakpara-Taylor, lead for Adult Mental Health for Mid and South Essex Integrated Care System
The new Mental Health Urgent Care Department will be a great additional resource. Mental health crises are unique for each individual; there is no ‘one size fits all’ but for a long time this has been the approach when people in mental health crisis visit A&E. The urgent care department will give professionals greater opportunity to provide person-focused care and respond to each individual’s needs.”
Property and construction consultancy Ingleton Wood, based in Billericay, was appointed to provide architectural services for the project.Patient involvement group members
The state-of-the art refurbishment at Basildon Hospital’s Mental Health Urgent Care Department is the latest in a series of investments that we have been appointed to design and manage for the NHS estates across Essex and nationally.
“We worked closely with the Trust to ensure the tailored needs of patients and staff are met. We used our expertise and experience to provide a modern and relaxing environment in which high-quality care can be administered, and were pleased to deliver our project on time and to budget.”Paul Cavalier, a Partner at Ingleton Wood