First Response – crisis service
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Our First Response crisis service offers support 24 hours a day, seven days a week to people of all ages living in Bradford, Airedale, Wharfedale or Craven experiencing a mental health crisis.
Mental ill health is common, with 1 in 4 people in the UK experiencing a problem each year. Most conditions are managed well through medication and/or therapy, but if your first experience of mental ill health is a crisis, or if you have an existing problem, we want you to feel reassured that trained professionals are just a phone call away.
Go to the bottom of this page for information on how to access First Response via the British Sign Language service.
Telephone: 0800 952 1181
Who is this service for?
This service is for people of all ages living in Bradford, Airedale, Wharfedale or Craven experiencing a mental health crisis. You do not have to have used any mental health services before to contact us. For more details see our First Response leaflet.
What happens when I call First Response?
For information on what will happen when you ring First Response view our further information here.
How can you access this service?
Where possible the person who is experiencing the crisis should contact First Response, but we understand that this is not always possible and accept calls from others, concerned about the person’s well-being.
You do not have to have used any mental health services before to contact us.
You can call First Response 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Where can you see the First Response team?
Once you call First Response a telecoach will answer and quickly assess your needs. They’re experienced to talk to people in distress and provide guidance to help you manage the situation and your feelings.
They may decide you need urgent support. In this case they will ask a first responder from our team to visit you as soon as possible. First responders are mental health nurses and social workers. They visit you wherever you are in your time of crisis, at whatever time of day, sometimes with a member of the emergency services. Or you could be referred to one of our three safer spaces for people of any age experiencing mental health crisis, in Bradford, Airedale, Wharfedale and Craven. They offer a warm, calm and safe environment, 365 days a year, as a possible alternative to A&E. See our short video below for more details.
Please click ‘Further information’ at the bottom of this page to find out about
- Safer spaces run by local voluntary partners.
- Other services that you can call if you’re not in a crisis situation but need to speak to someone about how you’re feeling or need medical advice.
Guide-Line – If you’re not in a mental health crisis situation but need to speak to someone about how you’re feeling, you can call Guide-Line, run by Mind, on 08001 884 884, 8am to midnight, every day.
NHS 111 – If you are not experiencing a mental health crisis, but still seek medical advice and support, you can contact NHS 111. Simply dial 111 to access this service.
What is a crisis?
If you are experiencing something which makes you feel unsafe, distressed or worried about your mental health you should contact First Response. Examples might include:
- Mood changes (different to how you are usually).
- Withdrawing from people (close family, friends or work colleagues).
- Not taking care of yourself like you would usually.
- Having increased thoughts about life not being worth living.
- Excessive worry.
- Feeling out of control.
- Feeling unable to cope.
- Changes in the way you think.
- Unusual ideas.
- Hearing voices, or seeing things that others can’t.
- Thinking about harming yourself or someone else.
A telecoach will answer and quickly assess your needs. Calls received Monday –Friday between 9am-5pm will be answered in the first instance by a clinical administrator at Single Point of Access who will take your details before transferring your call to an appropriate clinician.
They’re experienced to talk to people in distress and provide guidance to help you manage the situation and your feelings.
They have information on all the health, social and voluntary services available to support you. They will refer or make an appointment if it is needed.
They may decide you need urgent support. In this case they will ask a first responder from our team to visit you as soon as possible.
First responders are mental health nurses and social workers.
They visit you wherever you are in your time of crisis, at whatever time of day, sometimes with a member of the emergency services.
They provide support to help you manage your feelings. Some can prescribe medication.
First responders provide the best possible action for you at the time. They aim to keep you at home with support, working with you to develop a crisis management plan.
If you are extremely unwell they may recommend you are admitted to hospital.
At Bradford District Care NHS Foundation Trust we have radically re-designed our mental health services to give people who are experiencing a mental health crisis a single point of access – one phone number – so that people get the help they need, close to home.
The re-design covered all mental health services, including our award-winning urgent care First Response to provide a joined-up approach across health and care. Working closely with West Yorkshire Police, Bradford Council and voluntary partners, the approach means that people are supported earlier to prevent crisis, and in the least restrictive setting.
Reducing demands on A&E
The innovative approach means that since March 2015, no-one in Bradford, Airedale, Wharfedale and Craven has travelled out of area for urgent mental health care – that used to cost £1.8 million (2014/15) – because they are getting the right care, in the right place, with the right healthcare professional, close to home. In turn, this has reduced demands on A&E, on average by around 60%, and around 50% fewer people are being sectioned under 136 of the Mental Health Act, (that enables the police to admit someone to a hospital for assessment or treatment) because people are getting the right care earlier, to meet their needs.
As a result, the Trust is already delivering a number of the commitments in the national Five Year Forward View (FYFV) for mental health and has been cited as good practice by NHS England.
Urgent care close to home
The Care Trust’s urgent care service includes:
- First Response service providing 24/7 crisis care, with a single phone number for people to get urgent care – people can ‘self-refer’ and talk to a tele-coach (a psychological therapist) for support; for those that need more intensive support, a First Responder (a more advanced practitioner) sees people wherever they are, within the hour
- Mental health staff in police control rooms, A&E and custody suites – our staff give ‘real-time’ advice to the police and ambulance service, so they can identify when mental health may be a factor in incidents, and advise on decisions linked to the Mental Health Act; our staff are also based in police custody suites to support people with mental health problems.
- Trust staff working with police officers – mental health professionals work alongside police officers, attending calls where individuals may need mental health support; the Trust’s ‘street triage’ team assesses the mental health needs of the individual to ensure they get the right support.
- Social workers and a housing worker are part of the First Response team – the housing worker helps people find accommodation when they are leaving hospital, so they can be supported in the community as soon as they are able.
- More targeted community mental health support for people with enduring mental health problems – the 24/7 First Response service means staff in the Trust’s community mental health teams can now focus on people with enduring mental health problems who can be cared for at home, rather than handling crisis care, ensuring that people stay well at home.