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Hertfordshire partners agree action plan to improve mental health care

Hertfordshire is now ‘green for go’ on the national crisis care map which means people with mental health emergencies will be better supported.

The map can be seen at http://www.crisiscareconcordat.org.uk/areas/hertfordshire/ and shows that Hertfordshire has published its action plan and partners are now working towards improving care and support for those in mental health crisis. 

The action plan has been produced by the 22 joint signatories of Hertfordshire’s Mental Health Crisis Care Concordat with the aims of ‘working together to make changes to systems and processes that reduce the numbers of people who experience crisis’ and ‘to improve the outcomes for people who use services’. 

The agencies believe that this is most effectively done through partnership working and joint responsibility. 

Iain MacBeath, Hertfordshire County Council’s director of health and community services, said: “At the heart of Hertfordshire’s declaration and action plan is the principle that we will all work together to improve individuals’ experience and reduce the likelihood of harm to the health and wellbeing of patients, carers and professionals.”

Commissioner David Lloyd, who is one of the signatories, said: “One of my core principles for making Hertfordshire an even safer place is through partnership working. The new action plan sets out how this concordat partnership will deliver services across Hertfordshire and, by supporting those at risk, help to reduce crime. 

“People suffering a crisis due to a mental health issue are not only more vulnerable as victims of crime but can also become the perpetrators of crime. By working together to help people at an early stage we can stop issues escalating, reduce the number of victims and prevent crime.”

All partners involved have pledged to help people find the support they need from whichever service they turn to first. They will work together to prevent crises happening, through intervening at an early stage, and by looking together at the factors that contribute to crisis. The aim is to make sure that the needs of vulnerable people in urgent situations are met and they get the right care at the right time from the right people.

The local declaration and action plan forms part of a national agreement by the government and senior representatives from organisations committed to improving mental health care.

The action plan includes a review of current services, establishing joint protocols between health, social care and police for managing people under the influence of drink or drugs, setting up a multi-agency workforce development and training group and exploring the feasibility of a 24 hour single point of access.