“They made sure that I was safe” – A&E space dedicated for mental health patients is praised | News and Events

“They made sure that I was safe” – A&E space dedicated for mental health patients is praised

The Salford Mental Health Urgent Care Area – a dedicated space at A&E for patients to wait for a mental health assessment in Salford – has been praised eight months on.

Launched last year by Greater Manchester Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust (GMMH), the area offers a calm and comfortable space for people who may find A&E a difficult environment when experiencing a mental health crisis, and provides additional support from staff trained specifically in mental health.

Over 400 people each month attend Salford Royal Hospital A&E with a mental health concern, and the Mental Health Urgent Care Area is offered to just under a quarter of referrals from the Emergency Department.

Patients who have attended the area found this to be “quiet and calm” and said, “the staff were really friendly and supportive and [I liked] the fact that they kept checking on me to make sure that I was safe.”

Rebecca Billington, Service Manager for Salford Mental Health Urgent Care Area, said:

“Having a dedicated space for people, who are either waiting for, or receiving an assessment from the Mental Health Liaison (MHLS) Team, allows service users to access support and reassurance from Mental Health Support Workers, in a calm environment, when experiencing a mental health crisis.

“The area has been welcomed by partners, as well as our service users and carers. Feedback since opening in August 2021 has been overwhelming positive, and people using the area have found the space effective in helping them through a difficult time.”

The area sits within the Emergency Department at Salford Royal Hospital and was established through partnership working with Northern Care Alliance (NCA) and Salford Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG).

The area has recently celebrated its eight-month anniversary, and since opening last year, has supported over 470 patients with their mental health whilst attending A&E. The area’s success has been praised by partners.

Ruth Chamberlain, Managing Director, Integrated Care Division (Urgent and Emergency Care) for Salford Royal Hospital, part of Northern Care Alliance, said:

“We’re delighted to work with our GMMH colleagues to deliver a service which offers more supportive and responsive care to patients who present to the Emergency Department with a mental health crisis.

“Feedback from both patients and staff has been extremely positive and we look forward to further supporting the development of mental health services for the people of Salford.”

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As a service user, relative or carer using our services, sometimes you may need to turn to someone for help, advice, and support. 

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