A new vision for Urgent Mental Health Care in North West London

Shaping Healthier Lives is North West London’s mental health transformation strategy, 2012–15. It involves collaborative work between eight clinical commissioning groups and two mental health trusts.

The aim is to improve the experience of, and outcomes from, mental health urgent assessment and care. It provides the framework for improving mental health services across North West London, including increasing the management of the health and wellbeing of people with mental health problems in primary care. There is a need for rapid access to assessment and care for those in crisis, to be provided when and where the service user most needs it.

Initial approaches to improve crisis assessment and care include:

  • Roll out and embedding of a common access and care standards policy

  • A review of the local skills mix, competency and training needs of staff

  • Progress to align mental health services to those in primary care- covering the period 8am – 8pm as a minimum. Extension of home visiting for crisis resolution work, providing 24/7 cover every day of the year

  • Simplification of the ‘way in’, with a single telephone number, available 24/7 every day of the year.

– Glen Monks, NWL Mental Health Programme Lead