Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Home Treatment Team for the North

About 20 months ago I supported the charity Powys Mental Health Alliance to edit the organisation’s summer 2011 newsletter. On page 10 there is a really interesting article by Gethin Evans about the new Home Treatment and Crisis Resolution team he was leading on at the time in South Powys. You can read it here.

The definition of a Crisis Home Resolution Team, according to a Sainsburys Centre for Mental Health report in 2006, is as follows:
A CRHT team is a team of mental health professionals which can respond to psychiatric emergencies and crises quickly and in the person’s home.  The team is able to support, treat and manage the person at home (and support their carers) until the crisis is resolved and the person is offered on-going care.

Gethin is employed by Aneurin Bevan Health Board – which provides mental health services in Brecknock & Radnor. Home Treatment Teams have been available for many years in other parts of England and Wales, with the first teams in Wales being established in December 2002.

But what of North Powys, which until now has had to struggle on with no such service? Yesterday I met with Mike Shone, who is the Project Lead for the new Home Treatment Team in the North. He works for Betsi Cadwaldr Health Board, which provides mental health services here in the North (Montgomeryshire).

Mike told me all about the plans for the new Home Treatment Team – which are already well under way.  The new posts for the 10-strong team have been advertised, new premises are being sought, and Mike hopes that the team will be in place to start work the week commencing 6 May.  The new service is regarded as an alternative approach to hospital admission for people experiencing mental distress, but also as “in-reach” into hospital so that patients can be discharged earlier.

The only difference with this team is that it will be called a Home Treatment Team, not a Crisis Home Resolution Team. Mike explained that Crisis Resolution teams were trialled in other areas of North Wales such as Wrexham, but when reviewed not found to be particularly effective. Referrals could be from anywhere, and many were from GPs. However, in reality people were often not appropriately referred, and much CHRT time was spent assessing people who in all likelihood would not have been facing hospital admission anyway. Following the review the teams became known purely as Home Treatment Teams, and only took referrals from Community Mental Health Teams. (In other words, people referred had already been diagnosed with a mental health condition and were keen to receive further specialist support). You can read more about how Crisis Resolution works alongside Home Treatment in the Sainsburys report (see below). What do you think about this? Clearly those people already registered with a CMHT and in crisis will be eligible to take up the services of the new HTT. But not others. Where does that leave those who are not with the CMHT when a crisis unfolds which could potentially lead to a hospital admission?

An information event about the new HTT is planned for Monday 8 April, 1.30 - 4.30pm at The Elephant & Castle in Newtown. There is an open invitation to those individuals using services, carers and staff to attend and find out more. Read more and book a place here.

You can download and read Crisis Resolution and Home Treatment – a Practical Guide, by the Sainsbury Centre for Mental Health, here.


  1. As you say, this advice is hugely relevant for all.Such very nice article for everyone . Thank you so much for this useful and helpful post ..

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  2. Hi Sarah

    Thanks for your comment, and really glad you found the post helpful. If anyone has any queries about anything - just get back to us, we want to try and provide as much information as we can.