Alternative pre-hospital pathways for mental health patients

A collaboration between NIHR CLAHRC Yorkshire and Humber Avoidable Attendances and Admissions Theme and Yorkshire Ambulance Service is exploring the care provided for 999 patients with mental health problems. This includes a pilot study evaluating mental health nurse triage within the Emergency Operations Centre where calls are handled. 

This new service provides front-line call-handlers, clinicians and patients with access to specialist mental health support. The aims of the evaluation are to assess the impact of the service on outcomes for patients and on the working practices of Ambulance Service staff. It will also examine the costs and benefits associated with the service and any lessons learned from its implementation.  

The study is collecting routine data on calls to the new service as well as qualitative data from staff and patients.  Early indications from routine data suggest a reduction in ambulance transport for patients with mental health problems and improved response time performance as a result for high priority calls.