The Oxford AHSN Early Intervention Clinical Network is leading the NHS England South Region Early Intervention in Psychosis (EIP) preparedness programme – a partnership of 16 mental health service providers and 50 commissioning organisations and stakeholders across southern England.
The way that services in the Oxford AHSN intervene early to prevent a crisis later has been identified by NHS England as an exemplar approach to be adopted elsewhere. The Oxford AHSN Early Intervention Network is developing national guidelines. Dr Geraldine Strathdee, National Director of Mental Health for England, praised this work when she took part in an Oxford AHSN event in 2015.
The programme is delivering training for thousands of key staff coupled, ensuring the right data recording systems are in place and developing capacity, skills and leadership.
This £1.2m project is closely linked to the forthcoming introduction of the first national access and referral time targets in mental health – people with a new psychosis diagnosis should get a care package within two weeks of referral.
The focus on introducing referral times in mental health for the first time is part of a broader national strategy to achieve parity between physical and mental health.