“The Core Principle of Mental Health in the Emergency Department (ED): A patient presenting to ED with either a physical or mental health need should have access to ED staff that understand and can address their condition, and access to appropriate specialist services, regardless of their postcode, GP or time of arrival.” The Royal College of Emergency Medicine, 2019.
Recent figures show that attendance from patients in mental health crisis are rising. (NHS Digital, Hospital Accident and Emergency Activity, 2017-18).
More locally, issues around mental health support, particularly crisis care, feature in a great deal of the feedback received by local health and social care champion Healthwatch Gloucestershire.
Given this information, Healthwatch Gloucestershire, along with their parent organisation, Evolving Communities, decided to carry out a piece of engagement work to learn more about the experiences of those who access mental health support through the accident and emergency (A&E) departments at Gloucestershire Royal Hospital and Cheltenham General Hospital.
The aim of this work is to build a picture of mental health provision in these A&E departments from the point of view of those who have used the service (and their families/carers).
Who do we want to speak to?
- People with a mental health condition/issue, who have used A&E in the past year at either Gloucestershire Royal or Cheltenham General Hospitals.
- Those who care for someone who has a mental health issue, and family members of people with a mental health condition, who have used A&E at these hospitals.
- Staff and volunteers from voluntary and community organisations in Gloucestershire who work with people who have mental health issues.
What would you need to do?
We want to hear your story of using A&E. We want to know what worked well for you and what, if anything, could have been improved? If you were responsible for running A&E, what would you do differently? You can share your views and experiences with us in a variety of ways.
How can you get involved?
- Online survey: [closed 29 March 2020]
- Phone interview: You can take part in a 1-1 telephone interview with one of our Engagement Officers.
- Email: If you would rather write down your experiences and send it to us by email, let us know and we will email our questions to you.
- Meet with us: If you run a group that supports people with mental health issues and you would be happy for us to visit and speak about this work, please let us know.
Please tell us if you would like to take part in a phone interview, share your story via email, or if you would like us to visit your group or meeting.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01225 701888.
What will we do with the information?
We will put all the information together to build a picture of what it is like to access A&E in Gloucestershire for people with mental health conditions. We will write a report and share it with the hospital and mental health trust.
All of your information will be anonymised and we will not use your name unless you have agreed to be featured as a case study in our report.