This site is intended for health professionals only

NAO report finds mental health care suboptimal

Understaffing and minimal input from specialist professionals are preventing people with acute mental health problems from receiving optimum care, a National Audit Office report shows.

Crisis Resolution Home Treatment (CRHT) teams were created in 1999 to provide intensive services for those with psychological conditions at home.

It was hoped that these teams would free up bed space and reduce pressure on main NHS services.

But the National Audit Office report has concluded that restrictions are severely hampering CRHT teams from doing their job.

A lack of input from specialist health and social care professionals, understaffing in some regional teams and limited resources are all having a "significant impact" on CRHT teams.

The report also found that patients admitted to hospital had not been assessed to determine whether they were suitable for CRHT treatment.

It is suggested that extra provisions are needed in order for CRHT teams to have maximum benefit.

National Audit Office