Crisis teams are under staffed

Almost one in 10 mental health crisis teams are operating at less than two-thirds of the recommended staffing level, the government has revealed.

Department of Health guidance last week said 9 per cent of crisis resolution home treatment (CRHT) teams had nine staff or fewer. The department recommends a standard team size of 14 and the statement suggested overall CRHT staffing levels in England are 12 per cent below recommended levels.

CRHT teams are meant to act as a gatekeeper for in-patient services by assessing whether people can be adequately treated at home.

But the DH warned that some teams were spending too much time assessing non-crisis referrals from A&E wards or GPs. It suggested setting up systems within A&E and primary care to screen potential referrals to crisis teams.

While the guidance said many CRHT services can feel proud of what they have achieved it argues the “role of CRHTs continues to be poorly misunderstood and implemented by senior managers and clinicians in some parts of the country”.

Guidance statement on fidelity and best practice for crisis services from

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