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The National Early Intervention in Psychosis (EIP) standard

A new national access and waiting time standard has been introduced for Early Intervention in Psychosis (EIP) services:

“From 1 April 2016 more than 50% of people experiencing a first episode of psychosis should be accepted onto an Early Intervention service caseload and begin a NICE-approved package of care within two weeks of referral.”

This new standard was first set out in the October 2014 report Achieving Better Access to Mental Health Services by 2020 and Early Intervention in Psychosis (EIP) services across England are meeting this target. NHS England have committed to ensuring atleast 60% meet the two week waiting time by 2020/21.

The expectation is that within two weeks people aged between 14 – 65  with suspected first episode psychosis will be assessed by the EIP service, and where appropriate, will be accepted onto the EIP service caseload and be allocated an EIP care coordinator who will actively engage with the person to develop a plan of care and commence treatment in line with the NICE recommendations.

NICE approved care includes Family Intervention, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for psychosis (CBTp), physical health assessments, wellbeing support, carer focused education and support, education and employment support, and medication. South London and Maudsley (SLaM) have put together training and further information on some of these types of care.

At risk mental state (ARMS)

EIP teams have a role in providing an ARMS service to assess and treat those deemed to be at-risk of developing psychosis. Teams would have dedicated funded ARMS workers, who provide assessment and treatment for people who may be experiencing symptoms, and have a high possibility of developing psychosis in the near future. The aim is to reduce the number of people developing psychotic illnesses.

Outreach and Support in South London (OASIS), a mental health service for young people, run by South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust has lots of information that service providers can direct young people to. OASIS provides lots of useful information on dealing with a crisis, where to get help, as well as a number of real stories all aimed at getting children and young people the right support.

Best practice Resources for Early Intervention teams

A list of useful reports, tools and documents that have been used to help EIP services prepare for the new standard.