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We are continuing to deliver our services during coronavirus. We have had to make some temporary changes to the way we do things, particularly in minimising face-to-face contact, but our teams are continuing to support people of all ages in Devon with mental health and learning disability needs. The information detailed below provides the most current access routes into our key services for GPs and other professionals. DPT will continue to monitor this, and will provide regular updates if and when further changes are necessary.
We are continuously reviewing our systems and processes for supporting inpatients who have tested positive for coronavirus, are symptomatic or may have been in contact with people who have tested positive or are symptomatic. In line with national guidance, all of our new inpatient admissions are being tested, including those people who are not symptomatic. We have identified inpatient testing areas in each of our localities and established one of our wards in Exeter as a dedicated unit for people who have tested positive for coronavirus.
We continue to support the Emergency Departments (EDs) in Barnstaple, Exeter and Torbay through the creation of Urgent Care Hubs for people with mental health problems at each hospital site. People who have physical health needs alongside their mental health needs will continue to be seen in Emergency Departments (EDs).
Usual criteria applies but services are currently being provided by phone or other digital platforms. To access:
Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) are for all children and young people under the age of 18.
Referrals into the service are accepted from GPs, professionals, parents/carers and children/young people themselves.
GPs can advise patients to self-refer or make a referral on behalf of their patients.
All referrals are screened within 24 hours of being made and urgent clinical needs identified and responded to on same day as referral. GP, parents, young people and professionals can phone in for pre-referral advice.
CMHTs for Older Adults and Adults are working remotely wherever possible, using telephone contact to support individuals except where face to face is absolutely necessary (for example, depot medication).
CMHTs are supplementing this with a CBT-based online offer. Where identified as appropriate, individuals on caseload will be prescribed modules and supported by a mental health practitioner. CMHTs may need to reduce this input if there are reductions in workforce and therefore ensure that we are targeting clinical resource where it is most needed. This will be determined by prioritisation of need and risk.
DPT has not stopped or withdrawn services, other than dementia assessments. However, this is likely to change if we are required to deploy staff into urgent and inpatient care. In the event that community teams become depleted, we will continue to support those identified as a priority in the community but this may be delivered by someone who is not their care coordinator or from their local team.
During this period, the CEDS team are putting additional steps in place to support GPs and other professionals and its patients.
In the first instance, for initial advice, please contact 0300 555 5000. Furthermore, in order to support GPs/other professionals and our patients during this challenging period, the CEDS team have revised requirements for physical health monitoring for eating disorder patients, see below:
Please note that during the COVID-19 pandemic, the service will prioritise women and families with the highest risk from their mental health. As pregnant women are now advised to self-isolate we have had to adapt to align with government guidance. We will work towards discharge with women with lower-level concerns, and will be adapting our triage system to only accept new referrals where perinatal "Red Flag" risks are identified.
The team will collate online resources for other pregnant and postnatal women, to support them in managing their distress and isolation they may experience. We will share these with midwives, health visitors, GPs, and maternity service providers. These will also be detailed on the DPT website
Due to significant patient safety risks please be aware of specific advice & arrangements for supporting the continued safe supply and treatment of patients on clozapine.
Therefore, please prioritise monthly FBCs for people on clozapine. If you are experiencing difficulties with this due to service changes and/or individual patient circumstances (e.g. self–isolating) please contact DPT services for your locality.
Clinical guidance for prescribers - shared care guidelines
This guideline has been signed off on behalf of the NHS Devon Clinical Commissioning GroupLast updated: 05-05-2020