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Thematic review of mental health crisis care: initial data review

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Background to thematic review

Our thematic review of mental health crisis care began in late 2013 with the aim of exploring the experiences and outcomes of care for people experiencing a mental health crisis. Alongside assessing the quality of an individual provider's response to a person experiencing a mental health crisis, we are looking at how different organisations and agencies work together to provide an effective response within a local area.

In this review, we are focusing on the pathways for three key groups. These are people who experience a mental health crisis and:

  1. present to accident and emergency departments (with a particular focus on people who self-harm)
  2. require access to and support from specialist mental health services
  3. are detained by police under Section 136 of the Mental Health Act

Initial data review

In the first phase of this review, we have collated available data from providers and other key organisations, plus analysis from service users, carers and local groups involved in mental health crisis care. The analysis is used to describe mental health crisis care within a local authority for each of the three pathways of care described above. The information is presented in an Excel spreadsheet, from which you can select a local area and view intelligence from organisations that serve the local population, plus feedback from service users and local groups involved in mental health crisis care. As well as providing contextual information regarding the make-up of each local authority population, it highlights how people's experiences and outcomes compare to other local authorities across a range of measures for each pathway.

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How our data review can be used

The primary purpose for the data review has been to inform our selection of local authorities that will be inspected through a series of local area inspections. It will also be used to inform the full report on our thematic review into mental health crisis care, which will be published in 2015.

The information we have published is not a judgement on the quality of mental health crisis care provided in any given local authority area. However, it does provide a useful indicator of the issues that local agencies may need to look at in order to improve provision. We hope the analysis can be useful to all the work currently taking place in the area of improving crisis care, especially with a view to informing the development of Mental Health Crisis Concordat local area declarations and action plans. For further information on this work see:

Things to note

  • Most of the comparisons across the three service user pathways are compared to the national average, rather than an agreed benchmark.
  • While the comparisons in some of the measures takes account of the make-up of the local population, many of the indicators do not take into account local demographic factors, including the demand for mental health and other care services.
  • There are a number of caveats associated with certain data items, which we have tried to identify in the accompanying indicator details.
  • For some measures data has been mapped from trust, CCG or police authority level to local authorities. As a result, some data attributed to the local authority may include data relating to people who live outside the local authority or services that cover wider areas.
  • While we have tried to use the most up-to-date information available, it may not reflect the current picture of crisis care services.
  • We have still to fully validate the analysis in the subsequent inspection phase of the review and therefore a number of the measures should still be considered experimental at this stage.

Request for feedback

Some of the measures included are well established and used in our ongoing monitoring of providers. However, some measures are more experimental and we wanted to invite feedback and comment as to how well they reflect the quality of mental health crisis care and whether they are appropriate. We therefore ran a survey asking for further suggestions on how the indicators could be improved and how well they reflect the local picture of the outcomes for people experiencing a crisis.

This survey closed on 31 March 2015.

We will also share the learning and feedback from this work with others as part of a collaborative approach to developing intelligence about the quality of care for people who experience a mental health crisis.

Find out more about our local area inspections.

Find out more about our health-based places of safety online map.

Last updated:
08 June 2017