How can I commission out-of-hours mental health care?

Out-of-hours mental health care – care in an emergency – may be provided in a variety of ways. For example, local authority social services departments provide access to Approved Mental Health Professionals qualified in relation to the Mental Health Act.

In many areas, Crisis Resolution and Home Treatment (CRT) teams are also provided; these are teams able to respond in a mental health emergency.

In some areas, out of hours cover for A&E is provided by Psychiatric Liaison Teams.

However, the arrangements for the operation outside office hours of mental health services is normally a matter for local negotiation, including contract negotiation, between commissioners and providers. Use the sample mental health contracts we provide to help you get started with the contracting process.

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