The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has released data on the availability of health-based places of safety for people experiencing a mental health crisis. Their research has found that too many health-based places of safety are turning people away because they are already full, and some are refusing to help people who are intoxicated.
Sophie Corlett, Director of External Relations at Mind, said:
“The CQC’s research is helpful in understanding why people in crisis struggle to access the help they need and why so many end up in police cells, which are inappropriate and can make people feel as though they are being punished for being unwell. Being detained in a cell is frightening, especially for someone in crisis, who is often confused, and might even be harming themselves, experiencing suicidal feelings or psychosis. We urgently need Clinical Commissioning Groups to ensure people get the help they need in an appropriate environment."
“The findings also show that people who are under the influence of alcohol or have been misusing substances are being turned away. This should never be a reason for refusing to support someone experiencing a crisis. An emergency is an emergency, and those who are intoxicated and in need of help should still receive the same level of mental health care and treatment as anyone else."
“The Mental Health Crisis Care Concordat, launched earlier this year, recognises the huge gaps in services for people in mental health crisis and sets out how all local agencies should work together better to deliver joined up support. This CQC research reinforces why the Concordat is so important. There are excellent examples of crisis care in England but too many people are left without the help they need. We need to see local services adopting the Concordat and ensuring the right care and support for everyone in mental health crisis, including access to appropriate places of safety when they have become acutely unwell.”
Read the CQC's press release on health-based places of safety