There will be a dedicated mental health crisis team in place 24 hours a day, seven days a week. It will offer immediate assessment and support to people experiencing a deterioration in their mental health.

The team will rapidly assess people at risk of hospitalisation and make decisions with them and their loved ones about the care they need. This could include admission to hospital or treatment in the community. The team will continue to work with people until the crisis has resolved and ensure ongoing care is in place.

The team has been launched by Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust, who provide Buckinghamshire Mental Health Services, and commissioned by Buckinghamshire Clinical Commissioning Group. It will be made up initially of psychiatrists, mental health nurses and social workers and will expand in the future to include a range of other professionals in order to support more people in different ways.

It comes as mental health awareness takes the spotlight this Time to Talk Day on Thursday, February 6.

Until now Buckinghamshire has benefited from a range of evening and weekend emergency mental health services which, in addition to inpatient and community services, have combined to provide round the clock care in the county. They include the psychiatric liaison service at Stoke Mandeville Hospital for people attending A&E in mental health crisis; Street Triage which sees mental health nurses and Thames Valley Police working to support people in mental health crisis who come into contact with police; and Bucks Safe Haven, run by Bucks Mind and Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust offering crisis support in a non-clinical environment. These will continue to run alongside the new crisis team.

Vivek Khosla, Clinical Director for Buckinghamshire Mental Health Services, said: “This is a new team to help people in Buckinghamshire who have become acutely unwell and are experiencing mental health crises. The team will assess and make sure people are offered the most appropriate care to keep them safe and well.”

Dr Sian Roberts, Mental Health and Learning Disability Clinical Director for NHS Buckinghamshire Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “A round the clock team for Buckinghamshire residents experiencing mental health crises is very much welcomed. The rapid response team will be able to provide timely and vital support to individuals when they struggle with their mental health. We will continue to develop our mental health services to ensure the best mental and physical health outcomes for people in Buckinghamshire.”