Up until the 1st of August 2012, people in Oxfordshire with serious and enduring mental health problems had direct access to a service called the Crisis Team. This service has now been renamed to The Community Acute Service, and a new policy has been put in place.
This new policy means that people who are in crisis and even suicidal, have one more hurdle put in front of them before they get the help that they need and deserve. With direct access now gone, people need to go through to a receptionist instead of a medical professional to be triaged, or alternatively call their GP or the out-of-hours GP. With GP's, whether it be out of hours, or from the person's practice, under increasing pressure and usually not able to return calls immediately, it is my opinion that this new policy may be putting people's lives at risk.
This change in policy was carried out by managers at Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust without consultation with the people who rely on and use the service. It was also carried out without consultation of all of the front-line staff, whether it be Community Psychiatric Nurses (CPN's), Psychiatrists or GP's.
With 1 in 4 people in the UK suffering from some form of mental health problems, chances are you may know someone that needs this service. That is why its important that you sign this petition to Stuart Bell, Chief Executive, Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust today.
Let's demand direct access to those in crisis as it was before 1st August 2012!