"More preventative services needed..."

About: North West Boroughs Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust

(as a service user),

Preventative Services. My view is that we don't do enough around early intervention so that people go into crisis and hospital when this could be avoided. The system needs to be geared more to help people early so that care members or groups can offer support. People aren't identified by services early enough in my experience. This would save the system financially in the long run.

I found it disappointing that community social centres, such as Heath Park Lodge where help was available to people who dropped in, have been closed.

I wanted to access a service 2 years ago when I was having a crisis which I felt could help me and I was told that I couldn't because I had not been into hospital and it needed a referral from a psychiatrist or key worker. To me this was a catch 22 situation so that you couldn't access a service until you had been into hospital or deemed ill enough.

I lived abroad in the 80s and accessed services straight away at the first sign of a problem.

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Response from Dennis Dewar, PALS Co-ordinator, 5 Boroughs Partnership NHS Trust

Thank you for your feedback on services. I think it would be beneficial to provide an overview of service provision as it is today, as you indicate that it was a couple of years ago that you are referring to.

Recently the number of staff in the Crisis Team has been increased. These staff offer support and care for any client or family in relapse. They assess and offer early intensive home treatment rather than the traditional approach of admission to a hospital being the only option when people become ill.

There is also an Early Intervention Team who work with 14 – 35 year olds, who are presenting with a suspected psychosis. They work intensively with people at first presentation, in order to identify and treat early. People can contact the Access and Advice Team on 01744 626661, if they have problems, or your GP can make a referral to the Crisis Team.

I am glad to hear that you are part of a Carers Group. There are many such groups across the 5 Boroughs Partnership, and we aim to work closely with each of them. If you want more information on any involvement opportunities for either yourself or your group, please call Dennis Dewar on 01925 664450.

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