U-turn is made over crisis line – but there’s still a long way to go

August 23, 2016 at 8:07 am

BIMHN says that monitoring any decisions around the crisis line is paramount, after Bristol Mental Health announces a u-turn over the closure of the phone service.

We welcome the news that Bristol Mental Health (BMH) has made a u-turn over its decision to close its crisis line.

BMH’s announcement is in response to our recent article, which highlighted our concerns about the potential closure, and the public’s reaction to the proposal.

The service will now not be cut, but it will be “redesigned”, Bristol Mental Health has said.

We will be monitoring the situation very carefully and challenging any future proposals that are not in the interests of people currently accessing mental health services, or that may access them in the future.

Openness and transparency is paramount in these discussions at all times.

We will be meeting with BMH and Bristol CCG on 9th September to discuss the crisis line further, and will also announce a date for an open meeting to get wider views in due course.

We would like to thank everyone who has responded to our campaign so far, and highlighted the detrimental impact that the closure would have.

Bristol Mental Health said in their most recent statement:

Recently, an online petition has been started to campaign against the closure of Bristol Mental Health’s (BMH) crisis line. BMH and Bristol Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) would like to address the concerns raised in this petition.

The purpose of the Crisis Line is to respond to those experiencing a mental health crisis and to their carers. It is crucial that those requiring this service are able to get through and speak to someone when they need to. During the review of the service it was identified that approximately 66% of calls were actually seeking information or general advice; meanwhile others who needed to talk to a mental health professional urgently were unable to get through. It is for this reason that the decision has been made to change the way this service is managed.

As part of this, we will identify options that give more appropriate responses to those ringing the line. This will include where to ring if you need general advice, if you need to know about your forthcoming appointment time, or if you are a professional needing advice. It will ensure that those in mental health crisis will be responded to more quickly than is often the case at present.

The decision to redesign this service is one which has been reached with input from service users and staff from Bristol Mental Health, as well as commissioners from Bristol CCG. It should be noted that this is not a service cut, but a service redesign.

This decision was made as part of a wider review that will improve the balance between planned and unplanned interventions within local mental health services. Both BMH and Bristol CCG are working closely with service users and carers to ensure they identify other resources to best meet the needs of those who access the line.

BMH remain committed to work alongside the CCG with service users and carers to achieve the best mental health and wellbeing for the people of Bristol.

For more information about this issue please contact awp.bristolmanagementteam@nhs.net.

If anyone wants to let BIMHN know their experiences of the crisis line in the meantime, please contact Tom on contactbimhn@gmail.com. To support our campaign, please sign our petition: you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/protect-our-crisis-line-in-bristol!

If you are in need of help and support, please visit our signposting page for relevant information.

August 23, 2016 at 8:07 am | News | No comment

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