Look Ahead provide specialist mental health services at all stages of the care pathway and are proud to be one of the largest providers of crisis and recovery services across London. These services, delivered jointly with the NHS, provide an alternative to acute hospital admission and also offer support for individuals leaving wards. Our first ever Crisis House in Tower Hamlets recently won ‘Support and Care Team of the Year’ at the 2019 CIH Housing Heroes Awards. Our newest Crisis House is in Islington and opened in April 2018.
Cheryl, Service Manager, and JJ, Team Leader
We have worked with CANDI’s Crisis Team for just over a year – our work is very joined up with lots and lots of layers. We’re in constant contact, in person, over the phone. If we’ve only spoken a couple of times in an afternoon, that’s a very quiet day!
The cases we deal with here can be very complex and it’s really helpful that the CANDI Crisis Team often know these people and their backgrounds. It’s been particularly helpful for staff that are new here or may have less experience. It’s great to have such senior involvement from CANDI – their managers are very visible in the service and to our staff team. They are very much hands-on.
The partnership has been really beneficial for our wider staff team too. Our staff have visited the CANDI team up in Highgate, shadowing them and seeing how the single point of access works in practice. A clinical psychologist facilitates reflective practice sessions on a weekly basis with our team, allowing staff to reflect on challenging cases and enabling people to offload. She has also provided specialist personality disorder training for us, helping us to meet the needs of some of our customers with the highest needs.
CANDI have been here from the start, when we started our journey at the Crisis House. Their support and input at every level has been fantastic. They have enabled and empowered us to deliver this service. The partnership is still very new but together we are starting to achieve our goals.
Hear from the Crisis Team – Camden and Islington NHS Foundation Trust (CANDI)
Everyone that comes into Look Ahead’s Crisis House is under the care of CANDI’s Crisis Team. We’re a team of clinicians and health professionals; we bring clinical expertise to the house, oversee medication and medical issues, offer psychological input and help to manage risk. We also ensure the service is linked in to other parts of the Islington mental health pathway.
Our team operate a single point of access across Islington. We can receive referrals from anyone – GPs, police, family members, people directly. It’s important that it’s as easy as possible for people to access crisis services when they need them.
We work together at every level of the service. Our team here will see residents several times during their stay here – we do joint assessments, medical reviews and work together to monitor each individual’s progress. We also offer psychological reviews, which we know can be really beneficial for people.
Our joint weekly clinical meetings enable us to discuss individuals in the house and help to find the best way forward, whilst our monthly operational meetings provide an opportunity for a general check in, where we discuss how we can continue to make the service better for the people who need it.
Part of the role of doctors within the team is to educate Look Ahead’s team not merely on psychiatry but on medical issues more widely. This might include potential side effects to look out for or the possible impact of underlying health conditions. This type of practical guidance really helps the team here on a daily basis.
We’ve learnt so many lessons over our many years of delivering crisis services in Islington. It’s now about how we can share these with Look Ahead and how we work together. It’s a live relationship; it’s vicarious learning in the truest sense. There’s been huge progress.
Its a live relationship; its vicarious learning in the truest sense