Supporting Mental Health patients during a Pandemic

Published: 22nd April 2020
The current COVID pandemic presents health care services with new dilemmas especially when it comes to supporting Mental Health patients. In this article we look at the most urgent challenges and discuss what part rapid Telephone Advice & Guidance can play in providing support.

While much of the ‘normal’ activity of the NHS has been suspended, many GP and hospital appointments are being carried out by telephone and video links. But this approach needs to be more widely adopted in Mental Health to address the most urgent key challenges at pace.

 

1.Stop unnecessary face to face consultations  (see Guardian article)

Pre-COVID over a quarter of all GP consultations involved Mental Health. The pandemic has only increased anxiety and stress for patients. Areas that have set up Consultant Connect Mental Health telephone lines for their GPs (before the pandemic) are naturally seeing call volumes at an all time high as GPs try to stop referrals and provide care in the community.  It’s worth finding out how our Mental Health project in London is performing.

 

 

2.Provide specialist physical care for Mental Health inpatients

NHS’s guidance on COVID (published in March) stated the increase in need for more A&G to be provided to Mental Health wards as inpatients were at risk of contracting COVID. We’ve been busy over the last five weeks giving many Mental Health Trusts access to an even wider range of physical care specialists. Where Mental Health Providers need physical specialties that can’t be provided locally, we have set up access to our National Consultant Network.

 

Upcoming free Mental Health webinar series

We already work closely with the highly respected South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust (SLaM) and this partnership now includes Consultant Connect hosting Maudsley Learning’s new series of free webinars. These webinars are intended for Mental Health professionals (both clinical and academic staff) and we encourage you to book your place or share the information below with colleagues:

 

The Psychiatry of Pandemics Webinars

Maudsley Learning Webinar Series – 5 webinars from 28th April to 26th May 2020

We are delighted to host this free webinar series focussing on The Psychiatry of Pandemics. The series has been split into weekly sessions and will be hosted by Dr Sotiris Posporelis and feature expert speakers. To find out more and to book your place, please click here. 

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For more information about how we work with commissioners, hospitals & mental health trusts to improve patient care, please get in touch.

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