New Stockport mental health service prevents hospital admissions

A service that offers extra support to people arriving at A&E overnight with mental health problems has been launched in Stockport.

The Stockport Early Management Team operates from 9pm-9am, supporting those who go to Stepping Hill Hospital for help due to self-harm, thoughts of suicide, or other mental health issues.

The service, which is nurse therapist-led, provides an alternative route to prevent people waiting in A&E or being admitted to hospital. It provides patients with a thorough assessment of their mental health needs and short-term psychological support.

Delivered by Pennine Care NHS Foundation Trust in partnership with Self Help, the service is funded by NHS Stockport Clinical Commissioning Group and was launched in December.

In its first two months, 35 people were supported by the Stockport Early Management Team. None of these were admitted to hospital, which helped to relieve some of the pressure on busy inpatient wards.

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Matt Pattison, Inpatient Manager for Pennine Care’s mental health services in Stockport, said: “At the point of crisis, people experiencing mental health problems often go to A&E for a place of safety and support. Unfortunately, for various reasons, busy A&E departments aren’t always the best place for those individuals and we want to try to avoid admitting people to hospital unnecessarily if they can get the right support at the right time elsewhere.

“That’s where the Early Management Team comes in. The service is there for people to access throughout the night when other support options may not be available. We’re really pleased to be working with Self Help, a user-led mental health charity, to deliver the service as the Self Help staff, together with our NHS mental health professionals, can ensure people have a thorough assessment of their needs and appropriate support put in place.”

Jo Harding, Specialist Services Manager for Self Help, commented: “As an organisation that is constantly working to ensure better access to support for people with mental health difficulties, we believe it is important to provide a range of services that are readily available within the community.

“The Early Management Team is an important addition to our existing crisis services, such as the Sanctuary, which can offer the right support, at the right time, when someone is in a crisis and struggling to cope with anxiety, depression and panic attacks.”

For more information about Pennine Care services, visit www.penninecare.nhs.uk or tweet @PennineCareNHS