A collaborative approach to urgent mental health referrals
Robert Tummey Lecturer in Nursing Studies, University of Central England, Birmingham
The National Service Framework for Mental Health was launched in October 1999 and detailed the standards required for an effective and robust service (DoH 1999). Within North Solihull, a quick response initiative for urgent referrals to the mental health team has been in operation for the past five years. It is a nurse-led service that appears to meet some of the standards set, including collaboration with primary care and suicide prevention. This article identifies the benefits of a nurse-led service to combat the growing need for urgent assessment. It also discusses the need for specific mental health practitioner involvement at the point of referral. Particular reference is made to clients in crisis and with suicidal ideation. Important liaison at the interface between primary and secondary care is presented, for the benefit of this client group and effective alleviation of referrer anxiety.
This article has been subject to double blind peer review
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