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Intensive Home Treatment Team

Clinical Psychology Nurse Rae Newman and Senior Community Psychiatric Nurse (CPN) Heather Wilson came along to the November meeting to explain this useful service.

We had another great turn out at the November meeting and thanks very much to everyone who came along. A warm welcome to people attending their first meeting, we hope you come along again soon!

We were joined at the meeting by Clinical Psychology Nurse Rae Newman and  Senior Community Psychiatric Nurse (CPN) Heather Wilson from the Intensive Home Treatment Team (IHTT).

The IHTT is a 24/7 service based in the new Royal Edinburgh Building (REB) which provides intensive, short-term, home-based care for individuals ages 18–65 years who reside within Edinburgh and are experiencing a crisis due to mental distress or illness.

Referrals come via the Mental Health Assessment Service (MHAS), Community Mental Health/Primary Care Liaison Teams (CMHT/PCLT), in-patient wards, Edinburgh Crisis Centre, Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh or social work.

Not everyone fits the criteria to access the service and some people may be sign posted to the Edinburgh Crisis Centre or admitted to hospital however the latter is very uncommon as it goes against their primary role as an alternative to hospital.

People are seen regularly (up to three times daily) in their own home or outpatient clinic by the multi-professional team of psychiatrists, community psychiatric nurses, occupational therapists, support workers, and a team psychologist. The IHTT also work as the Out Of Hours Team in conjunction with MHAS.

The team also provide support for the carers, partners or family supporting someone accessing the service which can include treatment, psycho-education and practical help.  The team are hoping to reestablish a weekly clinic which allow the carer to work on their own Staying Well Plan. 

Advantages identified by people accessing the service:

  • less disruptive 

  • child care is easier

  • can stay with pets

  • allows more control & can have my say

  • problem solving on day-to-day basis

  • no hospital rules to obey

Advantages identified by carers:

  • more convenient

  • more involvement in treatment process

  • person accessing the service is less distressed

  • child care easier

  • receive immediate advice and support when required

Feedback from one person using the service:

“Although I find it very difficult to trust people I do not know and allow them into my house, I found all staff who visited aware of this and they were very good at helping me feel safe with them.  My feelings and thoughts were listened to and heard and treated as real and important and never dismissed.  The encouragement was always there but I never felt pushed to go at a faster pace than I was able.  Having regular contact with medical staff involved me in all decisions around my care and changes in medication.  Had I not had input from IHTT I would have been admitted to hospital which would have set my recovery much further back and increased my feelings of being unable to manage my mental health.”

Several group members had been supported by the IHTT in the past and kindly shared their experiences which varied greatly.


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