The Forth Valley Intensive Home Treatment Team (IHTT) set up to help people with mental health problems recover in their own home, are celebrating their 10th birthday. Between 2007 and 2014 they responded to more than 6,000 referrals and have been praised by patients for providing an alternative to inpatient psychiatric care.
The Team work extended hours over seven days a week and now offer same day assessments of all patients referred by clinicians in Forth Valley with the majority taking place in the home. However, should admission become necessary then the team will arrange this. IHTT also have a ‘crisis bed’ which can be accessed by patients for one night, before being re-assessed the following morning to discuss ongoing care.
During the decade since their inception as a pilot they have maintained the same consultants and all the original charge nurses.
Consultant Psychiatrist Dr Colin Crawford said: “Most of our patients prefer to be treated at home and tend to get better more quickly. It avoids the stress of having to come into hospital and all the upheaval that can cause.”
Charge Nurse Gail Walker added: “It gives people a choice but it’s not for everyone and the hospital is always there if the risks are too high.”
The Team have also been recipients of a top award in the Scottish Health Awards for their pioneering work in treating acute mental illness at home.