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South Tyneside and Sunderland Universal Crisis Resolution and Home Treatment Teams – Patient information leaflet

This leaflet may not be reproduced in whole or in part, without the permission of Cumbria, Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust

  • Introduction

    We hope this leaflet will provide you with information that you need whilst in contact with the Universal Crisis Team. If you are not sure about anything in this leaflet please ask a member of staff.

  • What is the Universal Crisis Team?

    The Universal Crisis Team is a team of experienced mental health staff, which includes nurses, social workers, psychiatrists, non-medical prescribers and pharmacy staff. We offer assessment and home treatment for people experiencing a mental health crisis, as an alternative to hospital admission.

    The team operates 24 hours a day 7 days a week. However, the crisis team does not provide an ‘emergency’ service such as a 999 response.

  • What is a mental health crisis?

    Mental health crisis can mean different things to different people. Crisis causes a significant disruption to your life and your ability to function. It may be an existing problem suddenly getting much worse or the first experience of a psychiatric problem due to major life events.

  • How can I access this service?

    You have been referred to the Universal Crisis Team because it is felt that the team can help in deciding what support you need. You, your carer, relative or health professionals can contact the team for advice provided you have given consent. The team can be contacted on 0303 123 1145 or freephone 0800 652 2867 and we are available 24 hours per day, 7 days per week

    If you are Deaf text: 07889 036 280

    The Universal Crisis Team will be happy to consider the following if required:
    • You are able to state your choice for a male or female clinician.
    • You can have your family or someone close with you during your appointment.
    • We can organise an interpreter if English is not your first language.
    • The time and venue of the appointment can be negotiated.

  • What happens next?

    Once you have been referred to the team, we will contact you as soon as possible, normally by phone to arrange a convenient appointment.

    We will meet with you to complete an assessment. This is normally carried out by one or two experienced health care professionals who will talk with you about your current situation and how you have coped with similar situations in the past.

    We will also ask you about your health, lifestyle and medication. We will then discuss options to try to resolve the crisis, a summary of this assessment will be sent to your GP.

    You can have a family member, friend or carer present during the assessment to offer support. This may also help us to further understand your situation. We will work with you until the crisis is resolved.

    If you are under the influence of alcohol or drugs at the assessment it may not be possible or appropriate to carry out the assessment at that time and alternative arrangements will be made.

  • What type of help will I receive?

    Home Treatment will involve regular contact with the Crisis Team either at home or at a more suitable venue of your choice, as well as telephone support.

    When you begin home based treatment, the team will agree a treatment plan with you and, where appropriate, your carer, family or close friends.

    The Crisis Team operates 24 hours a day so you are likely to see several different clinicians during your treatment.

    Crisis staff will discuss the frequency of your visits which will be agreed in your treatment plan. This may involve:
    • Intensive support managing your crisis situation.
    • Helping you manage your condition.
    • Offering practical support or signposting.
    • Where appropriate offer support for your carers and family to relieve stress.
    • Respond to the need of carers, which may include referral for assessment.
    • The Crisis Team will monitor and review your medication, where appropriate.

  • What happens if I need to go into hospital?

    If you are admitted to hospital we will try to make your stay as short as possible. You will be given information about the ward and contact details for your friends and carers.

    We will start to plan and prepare for your discharge as soon as you are admitted because we recognise that people can recover more quickly if they are treated in their own home with familiar surroundings and their family and friends close by.

  • Care Co-ordination

    All people accepted for home treatment will be registered on a Care Co-ordination database. This is a system which ensures that everyone seen by the team has an assessment, a plan of care and a regular review of that plan. You will be given a copy of your plan of care.

  • What about confidentiality?

    There may be instances when you or others are deemed to be at risk, making it necessary to share this information with other professionals.

    All crisis teams are aware of ‘Commonsense Confidentiality’ to guide them about dealing with the concerns expressed by relatives or carers. Please ask a member of staff if you would like a copy of this leaflet.

    Before discharge from the Crisis Team a plan will have been discussed with you regarding any referrals or follow up care that is appropriate for your needs.

    A copy of your assessment and discharge summary will be sent to your GP.

  • Help for carers

    Where appropriate, relatives and carers are often part of the initial assessment and are often involved in the following home treatment sessions.

    We will put you in touch with local carers support networks and offer a Carers Assessment on request. These are all important to the work of the crisis team.

    Cumbria, Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust has a Carers Charter. Please ask a member of staff if you or your carer would like a copy of this booklet.

  • Personal safety

    Trust staff carry devices that can monitor and record abusive behaviour. They can alert and receive support from emergency services and the recordings may be used in court proceedings.

  • Plan of Care

    You are able to access the team 24 hours a day to discuss your care. Your care plan will be completed in collaboration with you, using the 5P's approach. This involves focusing on factors from your past which may be affecting your mental health, factors happening presently that may be affecting your mental health and goals you would like to work towards in order to see an improvement in your overall mental health.

    This plan will be reviewed regularly with you with a view to you being discharged from the crisis team once an improvement has been made. It may be that your care is transferred to a different service following on from the crisis team; you will be fully involved in the discharge process.

  • What if I have a comment, suggestion, compliment or complaint about the service?

    If you want to make a comment, suggestion, compliment or complaint you can:
    • talk to the people directly involved in your care
    • ask a member of staff for a feedback form, or complete a form on the Trust website (click on the ‘Contact Us’ tab)
    • telephone the Complaints Department 0191 245 6672
    • email Please note that information sent to the Trust via email is sent at your own risk
    • We are always looking at ways to improve services. Your feedback allows us to monitor the quality of our services and act upon issues that you bring to our attention.
    You can provide feedback in the following ways:
    - the quickest way for you to do this is to complete our short online survey at
    - complete a Points of You survey, available from staff.

  • The following services may be of benefit to you:

    PALS – Patient Advice and Liaison Service
    Tel: 0800 328 4397 or 0191 566 7074
    Provides information and advice about local NHS services and support organisations and helps sort out problems with NHS services.
    North East NHS Independent Complaints Advocacy
    The Executive Centre, Aidan House, Sunderland Road, Gateshead, NE8 3HU
    Tel: 0808 802 3000
    North East NHS Independent Complaints Advocacy (ICA) provide help and support to people who want to formally complain about the NHS.

  • Useful contacts

    • Carers Centres
    Sunderland Tel: 0191 549 3768
    South Tyneside Tel: 0191 406 1531
    • Wear Recovery (Sunderland)
    Tel: 0800 234 6798
    • South Tyneside Adult Recovery Service
    Tel: 0191 917 1160
    • MIND infoline
    Tel: 0300 123 3393 9am - 6pm, Monday to Friday (except for bank holidays)
    or TEXT 86463
    • No Panic
    Helpline: 0844 967 4848 10am - 10pm every day
    • Rethink’s National Advice Service
    Tel: 0300 5000 927 9.30am - 4pm Monday to Friday
    • The Samaritans
    Tel: 116 123, 24 hours everyday
    • Saneline Crisis Line
    Tel: 0300 304 7000 4.30pm - 10.30pm everyday
    • Alzhiemers Society
    Dementia Connect support line: 0333 150 3456 Mon-Wed 9am - 8pm, Thur-Fri 9am - 5pm, Sat-Sun 10am - 4pm
    • Dementia UK helpline
    Tel: 0800 888 6678 Monday to Friday: 9am - 9pm Saturday to Sunday: 9am - 5pm
    • Childline
    Tel: 0800 1111

  • Useful websites

    • Support Line
    Confidential emotional advice and support to assist people during a crisis.
    • The NHS website
    Information about conditions, treatments, local services and healthy lives.

  • Contact details

    South Tyneside and Sunderland Universal Crisis Resolution and Home Treatment Teams
    Barton Centre, Hopewood Park, Sunderland, SR2 0NB

    Tel: 0303 123 1145 or freephone 0800 652 2867
    If you are Deaf text: 07889 036 280

    Opening times: 24 hours, 7 days

  • Information about content, other formats and version control

    Further information about the content, reference sources or production of this leaflet can be obtained from the Patient Information Centre. If you would like to tell us what you think about this leaflet please get in touch.

    This information can be made available in a range of formats on request (eg Braille, audio, larger print, easy read, BSL or other languages). Please contact the Patient Information Centre Tel: 0191 246 7288

    Published by the Patient Information Centre
    2020 Copyright, Cumbria, Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust
    Ref, PIC/833/1120 November 2020 V1 Tel: 0191 246 7288
    Review date 2023