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New Mental Health Crisis Assessment Service (MHCAS) to open at St Charles Hospital

CNWL is developing a Mental Health Crisis Assessment Service (MHCAS) to provide a therapeutic alternative to attending Accident and Emergency (A&E) for those experiencing a Mental Health (MH) crisis this winter.

The service, which will open soon, will:

  • Reduce mental health attendances in all A&Es in North West London (NWL) over the winter
  • Reduce mental health acute inpatient admissions, reducing overall occupancy of mental health acute wards and help eliminate the use of out of area placements (OAPs) in north west London
  • Give London Ambulance Service (LAS) and the Police the ability to take people experiencing a mental health crisis directly to the new crisis assessment service, reducing pressure on emergency services
  • Reduce the time taken to be seen and improve the patient experience.

Saru Mutema, CNWL’s Borough Director for Kensington and Chelsea, said

“The high stimulus environment often found in a busy A&E department is distressing for someone experiencing a mental health crisis. It has been demonstrated that symptoms can be exasperated whilst an alternative, low sensory setting can help a patient decompress and receive the therapeutic support they need whilst being assessed. “

CNWL’s St Charles Mental Health Unit offers a central location for this new crisis centre.

To accommodate this facility, the Talking Therapy (IAPT) service (part of Community Living Well) currently located at St Charles will be moving to a nearby location, The Pall Mall Centre (150 Barlby Road).

Staff from the Community Living Well Talking Therapy Service will still be working from St Charles, but patients may find that you are asked to go to a different location for your appointment. This will be within walking distance of St Charles.

You will always be informed if your appointment will be in a different location (by your therapist, a text message or an appointment letter).

This will be a gradual process while we find a new permanent home nearby and we will remain in North Kensington.


Author: Stewart Gillespie
Posted on: 21st October 2022

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