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Universal crisis team East and West Cumbria

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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, occupational therapists, support workers, psychiatrists 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 0300 123 9015 or Freephone 0800 652 2863 and we are available 24 hours per day, 7 days per week.

    If you are Deaf text: 0779 565 6226

    The Universal Crisis Team will be happy to consider the following if required:
    • 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, if required. 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 direct you to other services that can help.
    • Where appropriate offer support for your carers and family to relieve stress.
    • Respond to the need of carers, which may include referral for a Carers Assessment.
    • The Crisis Team will monitor and review your medication, where appropriate.

  • What happens if I am admitted to 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

    You will be allocated a primary worker who will lead your care during your engagement with the team. Primary workers ensure 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 ‘Common sense 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 offer a ‘Getting to know you’ appointment during which we discuss your needs as a carer and can put you in touch with local carers support networks who will offer a Carers Assessment on request.

    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 together with you, this will include 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 this 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.

  • Where can I get further help or advice?

    • PALS - (Patient advice and liaison service)
    Tel: 0800 328 4397
    Provides information and advice about local NHS services and support organisations and helps sort out problems with NHS services

    •People First – NHS Complaints Advocacy
    Tel: 0300 303 8037
    This service helps you to raise complaints about treatment that you have received from the NHS.

  • Useful contacts

    • Cumbria, Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust
    0191 246 6800

    • The Patient and Carer Involvement Service - Tel: 01670 501 816
    Involving patients, carers and their families in making decisions about their care, can lead to better outcomes and a better overall experience. The Patient and Carer Involvement Service co-ordinate and facilitate involvement, as well as providing training and support to those who wish to help the Trust shape service design and delivery. To find out more information visit our webpage: or email:

  • West Cumbria

    • Adult Social Care - Tel: 0300 303 3589
    • Cumbria Alcohol and Drug Advice Services (CADAS) - Tel: 0300 111 4002
    Works with individuals and communities to reduce the harm caused by substance use across Cumbria.
    • The Haven - Tel: 03300 083 911
    Provides a place of sanctuary for people experiencing or approaching a mental health crisis who can provide you with advice, support and information tailored to your needs.
    • Unity (Copeland) - Tel: 01946 350 020 Unity (Allerdale) - Tel: 01900 270 010
    Unity is a drug and alcohol recovery service, providing treatment and recovery support for individuals (aged 18 years and above) and their family members who are affected by substance misuse (including alcohol, illicit drugs and over the counter and prescribed medication).
    • West Cumbria Carers - Tel: 01900 821 976

  • Carlisle and Eden

    • Adult Social Care - Tel: 0300 303 3249
    • Carlisle Carers - Tel: 01228 542 156
    • Cumbria Alcohol and Drug Advice Services (CADAS) - Tel: 0300 111 4002
    Works with individuals and communities to reduce the harm caused by substance use across Cumbria.
    • Eden Carers - Tel: 01768 812 233
    • The Light House - Tel: 0300 561 0000
    This service offered by Carlisle Eden Mind is a crisis support centre, based in Carlisle. It is a calm, safe and comfortable place for people in Carlisle and Eden, to visit when they are experiencing a mental health crisis, feeling unsafe or finding it hard to cope.
    • Unity– Tel: 01228 212 060
    Unity is a drug and alcohol recovery service, providing treatment and recovery support for individuals (aged 18 years and above) and their family members who are affected by substance misuse (including alcohol, illicit drugs and over the counter and prescribed medication).

  • National support

    • Alzhiemers Society Dementia Connect support line - Tel: 0333 150 3456 Mon-Wed 9am-8pm, Thur-Fri 9am-5pm, Sat-Sun 10am-4pm
    Dementia support and advice.
    • Childline - Tel: 0800 1111, 7.30am - 3.30am weekdays, 9am - 3.30am weekends
    Get help and advice about a wide range of issues.
    • Dementia UK - Tel: 0800 888 6678 Monday to Friday: 9am-9pm Saturday to Sunday: 9am-5pm
    The service can support you with advice, one-to-one support, and practical information.
    • MIND infoline - Tel: 0300 123 3393 9am- 6pm, Monday to Friday (except for bank holidays)
    Provides an information and signposting service.
    • The NHS website -
    Information about conditions, treatments, local services and healthy lives.
    • No Panic Helpline - Tel: 0300 772 9844 10am-10pm every day
    Support for 13 - 20 years old who need help with anxiety, panic, phobias, obsessive compulsive disorder or any other anxiety related problem.
    • Rethink Advice Service - Tel: 0808 801 0525 9.30am-4pm Monday to Friday
    Offers practical help on issues such as the Mental Health Act, community care, welfare benefits and carers rights. We also offer general help on living with mental illness, medication and care.
    • The Samaritans - Tel: 116 123, 24 hours everyday
    Support if you need someone to talk to.
    • Saneline Crisis Line - Tel: 07984 967 708 4.30pm-10.30pm everyday
    Offers specialist emotional support, guidance and information to anyone affected by mental illness.
    • Support Line - Tel: 01708 765 200
    Confidential emotional advice and support to assist people during a crisis.

  • Contact details

    West Cumbria Universal Crisis Team, The Newlands Unit, West Cumberland Hospital, CA28 8JG

    East Cumbria Universal Crisis Team, The Carleton Clinic, Carlisle, CA1 3SX

    Single Point of Access Line: Tel: 0300 123 9015

    If you are deaf text 0779 565 6226

  • My useful numbers

  • 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, BSL or other languages). Please contact the Patient Information Centre Tel: 0191 246 7288

    Published by the Patient Information Centre

    2021 Copyright, Cumbria, Northumberland, Tyne and Wear
    NHS Foundation Trust
    Ref, PIC/859/0821 August 2021 V2 Tel: 0191 246 7288
    Review date 2024