Crisis services and planning for a crisis

A guide explaining what mental health crisis services are available, how they can help and when to access them. Also provides guidance on how you can plan for a crisis.

Your stories

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Simon tells us about his experiences accessing NHS services in a crisis.

Simon
Posted on 05/07/2018

In crisis: my experience

In time for the release of the CQC's Mental Health Act report,Claire blogs about her experience of crisis care

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How going to A&E helped me

Caroline blogs about how a visit to A&E helped her to realise she needed help.

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Posted on 27/11/2013

What are emergency GP appointments?

Your local GP surgery should be able to offer you an appointment to see a doctor quickly if you need urgent support for your mental health. This is often called an emergency appointment or same-day appointment.

This page covers:

When should I make an emergency GP appointment?

If you need urgent support for your mental health, but you feel able to keep yourself safe for a short while until your appointment.

How could it help me?

An emergency appointment involves seeing a doctor quickly – usually the first appointment with an available doctor. If it's not with your regular GP and you'd like to see them too, you can ask your surgery about booking a follow-up appointment.

What might happen at the appointment?

In your appointment, the doctor might:

  • ask about what's happening for you currently, including your moods, thoughts, behaviours and any recent events that have contributed to you feeling in crisis
  • provide information and advice, for example, about other local services you can contact yourself
  • prescribe or adjust medication, which might be to help you cope with symptoms you're experiencing or to try to reduce side effects that are contributing to how you're feeling
  • refer you for more support, for example to a crisis team (CRHT) or potentially for hospital admission.

(For more information on talking to a GPwhat might happen at the appointment and whether it's confidential, see our guide to seeking help for a mental health problem.)

How can I access it?

If you need an emergency appointment, you should be offered one as quickly as possible – although you might be asked to wait for a doctor to call you back before being given an appointment time. You can go to a doctor's surgery in person to ask for an appointment, but they won't usually be able to see you straight away – so it's often best to contact them before going in.

If you need an appointment outside regular opening hours, you might see a doctor at your nearest surgery or you might be asked to visit another surgery in your local area.

You can get urgent help from any GP surgery without being registered as a patient, although you might need to register as a temporary patient if you need treatment over more than 24 hours.

Emergency GP appointments in England

To access this service in England, you can:

  • contact your local GP surgery. You can find GP surgeries on the NHS Choices website. If the surgery is closed, you should hear a recorded message explaining what to do, or you can call 111 instead.
  • call 111, a free 24-hour NHS helpline that can help you access local services including GPs. (Find out more about this service, including options for people with hearing difficulties, on the NHS Choices website.)

Emergency GP appointments in Wales

To access this service in Wales, you can:

  • contact your local GP surgery. You can find GP surgeries on the NHS Direct Wales website. If the surgery is closed, you should hear a recorded message explaining what to do, or you can use the options below instead.
  • contact your local out-of-hours service. To find their details, see the Health in Wales website.
  • call NHS Direct Wales on 0845 46 47, a 24-hour NHS helpline that can help you access local services, including GPs. (Find out more about this service, including call charges and options for people with hearing difficulties, on the NHS Direct Wales website.)
  • call 111, a free 24-hour NHS helpline being trialled in some areas of Wales. (Find out more about this service, including where this service is available and options for people with hearing difficulties, on the Welsh Ambulance Service NHS Trust website.)

 


This information was published in October 2018 – to be revised in 2021. References are available on request. If you would like to reproduce any of this information see our page on permissions and licensing.


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