Richmond’s mental health crisis care

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Summary of report content

Between 2017 and 2019 Healthwatch Richmond focused on reaching out to adults who have experienced mental health crisis and engaged or have attempted to engage with the local mental health services through outreach to the community, a public event and focussed projects. In total, Healthwatch Richmond spoke to 586 patients and carers about their experiences, collecting 150 statements that were relevant to crisis care. The 438 patients who did not share an experience about crisis care had either not experienced crisis care or chose not to tell us about their experience. A total of 5 major mental health services in Richmond were reviewed.

Around a third of the 150 comments about support in crisis related to difficulty accessing care when people needed it. People spoke about reaching out to services when they began to deteriorate, but of not receiving the help that they needed. People felt that the threshold for accessing care when approaching a crisis was too high. The problems associated with accessing care were especially significant for those who were waiting for treatment or had fallen through a gap between services. Finally, it is notable that a significant number of people spoke about avoiding presenting to services as they approached a crisis because of stigma or because of their concerns over the impact of being labelled as having a mental health condition. A number of people aligned this concern about stigma with their ethnicity and one group of BME mothers told us that they avoided engaging with mental health services for fear that their children would be taken away. This suggests that there may be a disproportionate barrier to BME women accessing mental health care.

This report contains a service provider response. 

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General details

Report title 
Richmond’s mental health crisis care
Local Healthwatch 
Healthwatch Richmond upon Thames
Date of publication 
Monday, 3 February, 2020
Date evidence capture began 
Thursday, 31 August, 2017
Date evidence capture finished 
Friday, 29 March, 2019
Type of report 
Key themes 
Communication between staff and patients
Health inequalities
Information providing
Lifestyle and wellbeing
Quality of care
Quality of staffing
Service delivery organisation and staffing
Staff attitudes
Staff levels
Staff training
Waiting times and lists for treatment
Healthwatch reference number 

Methodology and approach

Was the work undertaken at the request of another organisation? 
What type of organisation requested the work 
Primary research method used 
How was the information collected? 
Visit to provider
If an Enter and View methodology was applied, was the visit announced or unannounced? 

Details of health and care services included in the report

Mental health services 
Mental health crisis service

Details of people who shared their views

Number of people who shared their views 
Age group 
Specific ethnicity if known 
Sexual orientation 
Not known
Does the information include public's views? 
Does the information include carer's, friend's or relative's views? 
Does the information include staff's views? 
Does the information include other people's views? 
What was the main sentiment of the people who shared their views? 

Outcomes and impact

Were recommendations made by local Healthwatch in the report? 
Does the information contain a response from a provider? 
Yes action has been taken or promised
Is there evidence of impact in the report? 
Is there evidence of impact external to the report? 

Network Impact
Relationships that exist locally, regionally, nationally have benefited from the work undertaken in the report
Implied Impact
Where it is implied that change may occur in the future as a result of Healthwatch work. This can be implied in a provider  response, press release or other source. Implied impact can become tangible impact once change has occurred.
Tangible Impact
There is evidence of change that can be directly attributed to Healthwatch work undertaken in the report.