We are two teams working in Northumberland and North Tyneside offering evidence based therapeutic interventions for up to 3 years to individuals experiencing a first episode of psychosis with an emphasis on community, recovery focussed treatment.
The services ‘embrace diagnostic uncertainty’ and the presence of psychotic symptoms rather than a formal diagnosis. However the presence of psychotic symptoms does not necessary ensure acceptance to the EIP service. If the Psychotic symptoms are a relatively minor part of a presentation which is dominated by other difficulties then the EIP service may decline to become involved.
Who we work with
Those aged 14 – 65 years old.
No previous in put from an EIP service.
No previous use of anti psychotic medication.
Symptoms which cannot be explained or attributed to organic causes or drug intoxication (7 day’s free of substances).
Symptoms have caused/are causing distress.
Symptoms have been present for longer than 7 days.
People who have give consent to the referral.
Who have a GP which is in either Northumberland or North Tyneside.
Experiences meeting criteria for ‘psychosis’
Unusual thoughts and non – bizarre ideas which are highly improbable and held with delusional conviction.
Auditory, visual and other experiences which others do not experience and that the person believe are true at the time or takes effort to question.
Disorganised speech, lack of coherence, unintelligible and / or with significant difficulty following line of thought.
Decline in usual functioning in response to psychotic experiences e.g. withdrawal from social situations and relationships, poor motivation to undertake usual routine (negative symptoms).
Extended Assessment – period of up to 3 months
We may offer a period of extended assessment when:
It is unclear / uncertain whether the experiences happen within the context of Psychosis.
The experiences maybe more suitable for another service.
Where other complex presentations may be the main difficulty.
When it is unclear if the psychotic experiences occur solely or predominantly during intoxication and / or withdrawal in order to understand the correlation between experiences and drug/alcohol usage or withdrawal.
Exclusion for EIP or an extended period of assessment
Organic caused psychosis e.g. dementia, delirium, traumatic brain injury, Huntington’s, post seizure hallucinations.
A learning disability where the service user would not benefit from an EIP service and it would be more appropriate to receive care through a learning disability service.
Long stay in patient/ forensic ward or prison where it is unlikely that they will be in the community during the 3 year period offered by EIP.
Where a persons presentation is not thought to be appropriate for the care and treatment within an EIP service despite having psychotic experiences this may include primary difficulties such as suicidality / self harm, difficulties regulating emotions, long standing patterns of mistrust and paranoid / persecutory experiences.
NICE guidance suggests the appropriate evidence based pathway which enables people to access the right support without delay and therefore achieve the best recovery.
What we will do when we receive a referral
When a referral is received by the team the duty worker will:
Review the information available which may include information from a letter or telephone call, accessing electronic patient records if a person is involved in a CNTW service or may have previously had involvement.
They may speak to you (the referrer) again to clarify information.
Where possible speak to the person referred to gather more information.
If referral is suitable for assessment, they will arrange this, if referral is not suitable they will give feedback and recommendations.
How to refer
We are happy to accept letters, emails or telephone calls from anyone (GP, teacher, employer, self, family) who is concerned that a person is experiencing a suspected first episode of psychosis, the person being referred must have consented to the referral and it would be helpful to a brief summary of concerns.
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