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Crisis Care Concordat evaluation

 

What was this evaluation?

The Crisis Care Concordat was launched in February 2014. It is an England-wide national agreement between the different agencies and services involved in the care of people experiencing, or at risk of experiencing, a mental health crisis. The focus of the Concordat is on improving the quality and availability of help and support, including support before reaching crisis point, urgent access to safe, respectful and effective care in an emergency, quality of treatment and care in a crisis, and support for recovery and the prevention of future crises.

Twenty-seven national bodies signed up to the Concordat, representing health, the police, social care, housing, local government and voluntary and community sector organisations. However, implementation is very much at local level, with local areas responsible for working together to develop and implement the Concordat aims. The McPin Foundation was commissioned by Mind to carry out the evaluation of this local implementation between May 2014 and December 2015.

 

Why was this evaluation important?

Our evaluation helped to give a more detailed picture of way in which the work of the Concordat progressed at local level. Through the evaluation we were able to

  • Assess the progress and impact of rolling out the crisis declarations at a local level
  • Develop an understanding of the factors for success as well as the major challenges and obstacles for local areas in signing up to and embedding agreements into their working practices and protocols
  • Produce learning and recommendations for how local partners can work together effectively to improve the experience of people in mental health crisis

 

What did we do?

The research was carried out using a combination of methods. Four local areas were chosen as case studies and in these areas we used observations and interviews to develop our understanding of the process of developing and implementing the action plans, exploring experiences of partnership working, the main challenges and achievements and thoughts on the future of crisis care. In addition, we analysed a sample of action plans from across the country and undertook two nationwide surveys with service users and carers who have experienced crisis care. Finally, we interviewed some of the members of the national steering group, representing the national signatories to the Concordat.

 

What is the current status of this project?

This project is now complete. It was clear from our evaluation that the Concordat has been successful in encouraging local areas to develop partnership working across a range of areas, incorporating prevention and recovery as well as the delivery of urgent care to people experiencing or at risk of a crisis. One particular area of success has been the reduction of the use of police cells as a Place of Safety for people experiencing a mental health crisis by more than 50%. We were also pleased to discover from our survey that there had been some significant improvements in service users’ experiences of crisis care in the twelve months between November 2014 and November 2016. While this is from a relatively small sample, it is nevertheless an encouraging result

While there were a number of successes as a result of the Concordat work, there was also a concern among stakeholders (including people who responded to our survey) that momentum is maintained to continue to improve crisis care. This includes crisis care for children and young people; although all local areas made a commitment to improving provision for children and young people, it was also acknowledged at local and national level that there is still a huge amount of work to be done.

You can read more in our Report, Summary Report and Infographic, which are also available on the Crisis Care Concordat Website.

 

Who should I contact for more information?

For more information about the project, please email susannegibson@mcpin.org