NHS Acts on Mental Health Crisis services

In a new move announced today the NWL Clinical Commissioning Groups are investing £1.9m a year to expand adult mental health crisis teams.

Mental Health service provider CNWL will use the investment for new Home Treatment Rapid Response Teams (HTRRT).

This will deliver a 24 hour, 7 day a week rapid response function in the NWL Boroughs where CNWL provides services (i.e. Brent, Harrow, Hillingdon, Kensington & Chelsea and Westminster) for urgent and emergency referrals into adult secondary care mental health services. This will make it easier for people to access services in a mental health crisis.

This enhances the service currently provided. This will enable our adult community mental health services to deliver care in line with the Mental Health Crisis Care Concordat. The additional funding will be used to fund new jobs in each team.

  • Home Treatment Teams (HTTs) will have a 24/7 assessment function to respond to emergency referrals – to provide face to face assessment within 4 hours for emergency referrals
  • The enhanced HTTs will have a home visiting capability, 24 hours a day for people presenting in crisis
  • The funding will be used for extra staff in each borough – a mix of practitioners and support workers
  • The funding will broaden the scope for home treatment teams beyond preventing hospital admission and facilitating hospital discharge.


Claire Murdoch, Chief Executive of CNWL, said, “this is fabulous news. We need to respond to those in need of urgent help. This will help more people at home rather than having to go to A&E. It also means some people will not need to go to hospital at all as this will bring the hospital to them. This is a big step towards mental health crisis being treated with the same urgency as a physical health emergency.”

For some time negotiations have been taking place to make sure the promise is deliverable and fits plans for modern NHS services. The new teams are planned to start in November 2015.

Dr Fiona Butler, Mental Health Lead for NWL CCGs, added, “we have high ambitions for improving the mental health and wellbeing of everyone living in North West London.  We want people to feel that their wellbeing is valued and when they are in crisis that the right support and help is available quickly and easily.  People can have a mental health crisis at any time of the day or night.  This significant new investment in crisis services underlines our commitment to providing better quality services around the clock,  ensuring that people get compassionate, skilled care and support where and when they need it."

Underlining their commitment to mental health services, Brent and Harrow CCGs also confirmed their continued investment in an 'assessment lounge' at Northwick Park Hospital, north London. 

Dr Dilip Patel, Clinical Director of Harrow CCG, commented, "the Northwick Park Mental Health Assessment Lounge Service which started as a pilot has been successful and rewarding to patients.  It has delivered high quality, safe and appropriate care.  Brent & Harrow Clinical Commissioning Groups will continue this investment to maintain continuity and sustainability of this service as it gives a good and secure environment for mental health patients to be assessed away from the main A&E environment. The local GPs also feel confident that their patients are referred and assessed by a mental health professional within an acceptable timeframe."

CCG Press Office


T: 020 3350 4366