Below is an update from ELFT on adult mental health:
As part of our local COVID-19 response we are going to reduce non-essential community work which includes memory clinic, adult ADHD, adult Autism, routine placement reviews, a large proportion of routine medical outpatient clinics, a large proportion of psychotherapy (groups in particular) and routine primary care liaison assessments. By Monday 23 March 2020 we will have a new offer in place and we will send updated contact details at the end of this week, Friday 20 March 2020. We are using time this week to triage current work to see who will need phone contact, who we need to prioritise face to face contact with (depot clinic, clozapine clinic) and communicating with patients. We will be redeploying some of our staff in order to manage core functions.
We are also reducing our inpatient bed base so that we can ensure safe staffing in times of sickness. We have created a five bedded space for segregation admissions for people who have tested COVID-19 positive and people who have symptoms and cannot self-isolate on the open wards. We are hoping that we can employ a more assertive approach in our crisis/ community offer to support earlier discharge, admission avoidance and keeping people in the community.
This situation is changing hourly and we are going to process the changes to the Mental Health Act that were released yesterday and what that means for our services. We will maintain some telephone assessment functions so that we can assess and treat remotely. We will also maintain some face to face community contact, again depending on need. We know that you share our concern that a large proportion of our patients with SMI already have significant physical health co-morbidity and are more vulnerable than the general population. Thank you for your help in keeping them as safe and well as we can at this time.