Wednesday, 01 July 2020
A specialist Mental Health Emergency service delivered by South West London and St George’s Mental Health NHS Trust (SWLSTG) in response to the Covid-19 pandemic has been commissioned to the end of October.
The Orchid Mental Health Emergency Service, which was recently praised by the CQC as an “innovative and inspirational”service , and the enhanced 24/7 mental health support line have both been funded for a further three months, to allow time for the benefits to be fully considered and a decision to be made on a longer term basis.
Since opening on 30 March, more than 530 people who would otherwise have had no alternative but to attend Accident and Emergency have been assessed and successfully treated at Orchid.
Orchid Manager, Isobel Voss, said: "The Orchid team are very proud of what we have achieved in a short space of time, and excited to hear that our unit has been extended in recognition of that. The feedback we have had from patients, carers and other services has been great, and we are very glad to have the opportunity to continue to support people in south west London who are in need of an emergency mental health service”
The Orchid Mental Health Emergency Service was set up to create a mental health alternative to acute hospital emergency departments, ensuring anyone in crisis, who does not have serious physical health needs, will be able to receive specialist care from expert mental health professionals day or night, taking much needed pressure off local acute trusts who are dealing with the full brunt of the pandemic.
A screening process must take place before patients are referred to the service, to ensure any physical health problems do not require urgent medical attention. Therefore, Orchid MHES does not operate on a ‘walk-in’ basis but take referrals through the Trust’s 24/7 mental health support line on 0800 028 8000 as well as those brought in by the police or ambulance service, or on the advice of NHS 111.