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New crisis accommodation opens

Support for people experiencing a mental health crisis took a major step forward this week, as a new crisis accommodation facility opened in Nottingham.

Haven House, located at Macmillan Close, Mapperley, has been commissioned by local NHS commissioners and developed through a partnership between Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust and Framework, who will deliver the service. The six bed service, opening on Thursday, January 15, will provide 24-hour support for up to five days to people from Nottingham and south Nottinghamshire.

Modelled on similar and successful Crisis House* initiatives elsewhere in the country, it will provide an alternative to acute psychiatric wards, deliver better outcomes for people in crisis**, and alleviate pressure on hospital services.

This important new resource will receive referrals at any time of the day or night via Nottinghamshire Healthcare's Enhanced Crisis Resolution and Home Treatment Team. Staff, at Haven House, will support those people to identify the causes of their difficulties and work with them to establish solutions and plans which will enable them to return home as soon as is possible, with a package of agreed support.

Graeme Green, Framework Operations Manager for Mental Health Services, explained:

“I have worked in the mental health profession for more than 30 years and know from experience that hospital is not always the best place for people experiencing a crisis in their mental health. At moments of distress such a clinical setting can prove to be a poor fit for people whose symptoms do not require an acute admission. Hospitals too are not helped when people are admitted inappropriately, as has been the subject of much media discussion in-patient settings are under severe pressure and initiatives like Haven House will assist the NHS in managing this.

“This new service, which we will be operating for an initial one year pilot period, is, just as its name suggests, a haven – a place of refuge for people who need space and professional support during a very difficult period of their life. It will provide a valuable middle way for patients and healthcare professionals and I have every confidence that it will prove to be a huge success for everyone concerned.”

Ruth Hawkins, Chief Executive at Nottinghamshire Healthcare, who officially opened Haven House at the event, said: “We are delighted to open this important facility in partnership with Framework, on behalf of the City and South Nottinghamshire Clinical Commissioning Groups.

“Haven House will provide vital support to people experiencing a mental health crisis at a time of most need, when they require time away from their home environment but an admission to hospital is not appropriate.

“People will be offered support in a safe and supportive environment, and on their return home receive continued support from our other services, and those provided by partner agencies, to help maintain their wellbeing and aid their longer term recovery. Through Haven House, people will be offered increased access to and choice about the treatment and care they receive, in addition to the range of services already available.”

“I was delighted to welcome the opening of Haven House on behalf of City and South Nottinghamshire CCGs,” said Dr Safiy Karim, GP Clinical Lead at NHS Nottingham City CCG.

“Haven House marks an important stage in our joint commitment to improve the quality, accessibility and choice of crisis care for our service users, linking strongly with mental health and suicide prevention strategies across the City and County.

“While crisis houses have demonstrated positive outcomes for service users in other areas, we are particularly proud of the partnership work that has been undertaken in establishing Haven House. Its introduction means local people will have a wider choice of services, and it offers an innovative new approach to care as an alternative to hospital admission.”

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