Psychosis delays at Lancashire Care

Psychosis delays at Lancashire Care
Psychosis delays at Lancashire Care

Seriously ill mental health patients in Lancashire are waiting too long for treatment.

People showing signs of psychosis should be given care within two weeks of an initial diagnosis but that has only been happening just over half the time.

While Lancashire Care, the trust responsible for mental health care, was narrowly missing its yearly target of 53 per cent, handed down by the NHS, by 0.61 per cent, it failed to treat anybody on time in Chorley and South Ribble in December, in Preston in December and February, or in Fylde and Wyre in October, December, and February.

Earlier this year experts from NHS Improvement’s Intensive Support team visited for two days to carry out a review. They made a number of recommendations that bosses have started to put into place.

Psychosis comes with distressing symptoms like hallucinations and delusions, and it can take months or years for a final diagnosis - such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, or psychotic depression - to be made.

But the NHS said treatment can start as soon as a provisional diagnosis is made and 53 per cent of sufferers should be given the right care within two weeks of being referred.

That target will be raised to 56 per cent next year, and 60 per cent people by 2020/21.

Steve Tingle, from Lancashire Care, said its early intervention in psychosis (EIP) service gets an average of 100 new referrals every month from a “number of access services, some of which are currently experiencing high levels of demand”.

He insisted people are seen “as soon as possible after the 14 days”.