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Pilot for mental health patients to get urgent medicine and prevent hospital admission to be trialled in Belfast


A pilot programme is being trialled in the Belfast area to provide urgent medication, prevent deterioration and avoid the need for hospital admission for patients experiencing mental ill health and increased distress.

The three month pilot means such patients who require urgent medication will now be able to get it from their team of mental health professionals, instead of their GP.

Peter Sloan, Belfast Trust said, “if we have a patient that requires medication at short notice due to a change in their mental state, we will be able to prescribe directly to the patient which will reduce the number of steps required to access the right medication at the right dose for the patient to achieve the right outcome.”

The Home Treatment Team (HTT) in the Belfast Health and Social Care Trust is a team of mental health professionals providing a 24 hour, 7 day a week service to people experiencing an acute mental illness.

Under the pilot, the team will be able to issue prescriptions for appropriate medicine directly to patients under their care.

Andrea Linton, Pharmacy and Medicines Management Co-ordinator, Health and Social Care Board said, “This new pilot will improve access to medicines, reduces duplication of effort and utilises the skills and experience of the mental health team. Over the next few months, we will be testing the efficacy of this programme and identifying the benefit to patients.”

The New Models of Prescribing pilot will be tested in Belfast Trust areas for a three month period.