A pilot scheme aims to improve mental health care for thousands of people in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough.
The project will examine ways to make it easier for people to access 24/7 support and treatment. It will also create new jobs at mental health and community care provider, Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust (CPFT).
The move comes after NHS England chose commissioners Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Clinical Commissioning Group to become one of eight “Vanguard sites” across the country to pilot ways to reduce the pressure on accident and emergency departments.
CPFT is working with the CCG on proposals to increase the number of mental health clinicians based at hospitals, police stations and in the community.
Elaine Young, mental health Vanguard project lead at CPFT, said: “We and other healthcare providers along with social care providers, commissioners and voluntary groups, recognise the need to work together to ensure people get the most appropriate help as quickly as possible.
“At the moment, we know that people experiencing a mental health crisis often end up at A&E because there isn’t an alternative out-of-hours.
“While we already provide mental health support in acute hospitals and police stations, this project will mean that we can look at further ways of improving urgent and emergency treatment for those in mental health crisis.
“We are also putting in place a First Response team to help those in crisis receive help in their own homes rather than having to go to hospital. We are trying to recruit to those roles now.
“For a long time, funding for mental health services has fallen behind acute care. However, if this pilot is a success it will be a major step in the right direction to enable people to access round-the-clock emergency mental health care.”
The Vanguard project is divided into five key areas. As well as urgent and emergency mental health care, it will also focus on 111 services, community treatment, emergency hospital care and hospital discharge.