Crisis and home treatment

Home treatment has been developed as an alternative to inpatient care for acute cases. This involves the 'crisis intervention' model, in which members of the multidisciplinary team visit the patient, and the family, at frequent intervals, sometimes several times per day. The clinical experience is that such crisis teams can reduce hospital admissions and are popular with patients. However, they depend on having adequate staffing, good morale, and good relations with other parts of the service such as community mental health teams and inpatient units.

Crisis teams can screen new inpatient admissions, to see whether they can be avoided; attend Mental Health Act assessments, to see whether a potential 'section' can be handled in a different way; and attend inpatient ward rounds, to see whether patients can be given early discharge into their care. This represents another step in the general shift toward providing interventions in patients' homes, as in domiciliary assessment of new referrals and regular visits by CPNs to monitor patients who need long-term care.

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