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.
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.
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 ‘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 put you in touch with local carers support networks and offer a Carers Assessments 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.
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.
This plan will be reviewed regularly, aiming for discharge from the Crisis Team on
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 www.cntw.nhs.uk (click on the ‘Contact Us’ tab)
• telephone the Complaints Department 0191 245 6672
• email firstname.lastname@example.org 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 www.cntw.nhs.uk/poy
- 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 032 02 02
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 living in North Tyneside who want to formally complain about the NHS.
• Independent Complaints Advocacy Northumberland (ICAN)
Adapt (North East), Burn Lane, Hexham, Northumberland, NE46 3HN
Tel 01434 600 599
Independent Complaints Advocacy Northumberland (ICAN) provide help and support to people living in Northumberland who want to make a complaint about an NHS service.
• Healthwatch Northumberland
Adapt (NE), Burn Lane, Hexham, Northumberland, NE46 3HN
Tel: 03332 408 468
Text: 07413 385 275
Healthwatch are here to make sure your views on health and social care in Northumberland are heard. Please get in touch with your experiences of GPs, hospitals, dentists, care homes or any other healthcare service in the county.
• Healthwatch North Tyneside
The Parks Sports Centre, Howdon Road, North Shields, NE29 6TL
Tel: 0191 263 5321
Healthwatch here to make sure your views on health and social care services in North Tyneside are heard. They work with users of local NHS and social care services to hear about your experiences, identify any issues or problems and help bring improvements.
• MIND infoline
Tel: 0300 123 3393 9am - 6pm, Monday to Friday
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 6pm - 11pm everyday
• Alzhiemers Society
Helpline: 0300 222 11 22 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
Tel: 0800 1111
• Support Line www.supportline.org.uk
Confidential emotional advice and support to assist people during a crisis.
• The NHS website www.nhs.uk
Information about conditions, treatments, local services and healthy lives.
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/412/0420 April 2020 V10
www.cntw.nhs.uk Tel: 0191 246 7288
Review date 2023
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