Mental health safe haven opens in Cambridge

CPFT and Mind in Cambridgeshire link up as part of pilot project to improve services

Mental health safe haven opens in Cambridge
19 May 2016

Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust and mental health charity Mind in Cambridgeshire have teamed up to offer a new safe haven for those experiencing a mental heath crisis.

The Sanctuary, which is in Cambridge, has been opened to allow people to get practical and emotional support.

It is part of the recently-launched Urgent and Emergency Care Vanguard programme in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough.

NHS organisations - including Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Clinical Commissioning Group - together with local authorities, Cambridgeshire Police and representatives of the third sector have combined to launch a series of pilot projects aimed at improving the way urgent mental health care is delivered and reduce the pressures of accident and emergency departments.

Elaine Young, associate director of integration for mental health and community care provider CPFT, (pictured right) said: “We think this a really important step forward to improve care for those who are suffering mental health issues.

“The Sanctuary offers people the chance to take a ‘time out’ in a non-medical environment rather than going to an accident and emergency unit which is not the most suitable place for people to be.

“It has been open a month and we have had some very encouraging feedback from people who have been here.

“Similar projects have worked incredibly well elsewhere in the country, and if the Sanctuary in Cambridge continues to prove successful, we’ll look to have other similar safe places elsewhere in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough.”

The Sanctuary is open from 6pm until 1am. The exact location is not being identified as access is by referral via emergency services or other health professional only. Since it began operating on 4 April, there have been 42 referrals to the service.

It is staffed by representatives from Mind who offer people practical and emotional support, and can help them link up with clinicians from CPFT’s services. People who use the Sanctuary cannot stay overnight.

Lynn Mars (pictured, far right), director of services for Mind in Cambridgeshire, said: "The opening of the Sanctuary – combined with the other measures that have been put in place - is helping to change the face of crisis care across Cambridge, ensuring that individuals receive the right care, at the right time, in the right place."

Other services put in place as part of the Urgent and Emergency Care Vanguard programme in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough include:

• A First Response Service - run by CPFT will provide assessments in the community out-of-hours and respond to urgent referrals from emergency services.

• Experienced mental health nurses in the Cambridgeshire police control room providing advice and referral options to officers

• A system-wide coordinator to triage people to the First Response Service and Sanctuary and co-ordinate calls from emergency services

Vanguard is a national programme set up to test out new ways of providing emergency care to improve patient experience and reduce admission rates to accident and emergency departments. The funding is non-recurrent but if the pilot is successful it could lead to the new services being commissioned longer term.

Pictured above are representatives from CPFT, Mind in Cambridgeshire, Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Clinical Commissioning Group, and Healthwatch Cambridgeshire during a tour of the Sanctuary in Cambridge.



For more information please contact:

Andy Burrows
Communications Manager
E andy.burrows@cpft.nhs.uk
T 01223 726767

Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust
Elizabeth House, Fulbourn Hospital
Cambridge, CB21 5EF

T 01223 219400 (open 8:30am to 5pm)
F 01480 398501

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