In 2015, the Royal College of Psychiatrists set up an independent Commission in response to widespread concerns about the provision of acute inpatient psychiatric beds and alternatives to admission available for patients. The Commission was chaired by Lord Nigel Crisp, former Chief Executive of the NHS in England and Permanent Secretary of the UK Department of Health between 2000 and 2006.
The Commission found that too many people do not have swift access to high-quality acute care when they need it most - a symptom of ‘whole system’ failure requiring new, system-wide solutions.
What the report concluded
The report made 12 recommendations, including the need to:
- Introduce waiting time targets for admission to an acute psychiatric ward or acceptance for home-based treatment
- Eliminate the practice of sending people out of area for acute inpatient care due to local acute bed pressures
- Ensure Crisis Resolution and Home Treatment Teams (CRHTTs) are adequately resourced to offer intensive home treatment as an alternative to an acute inpatient admission
- Undertake local service capacity assessment and improvement programmes
- Ensure there is an adequate supply of housing and strong interfaces with social care to enable timely discharge from hospital
- Improve the collection and availability of data
- Achieve financial parity with physical health.
One year on from the report's publication, we produced a brief for members on what progress had been made on the publications.