The urgent care centre, established at Peach Tree House in the grounds of Whiteleaf Mental Health Centre in Aylesbury, offers a round-the-clock alternative to A&E for people who require immediate in-person care when their safety, or the safety of other people is at risk, and do not need physical healthcare treatment.
The urgent care centre is in addition to a 24-hour, seven day a week mental health helpline launched in the county to offer advice for children, young people and adults struggling with their mental health or concerned about the mental health of a loved one at this time.
It means people who previously may have been asked to attend A&E at Stoke Mandeville Hospital called 111 or 999 can now be referred directly to the urgent care centre to receive specialist support in a safe environment.
The centre is not a walk-in facility.
People who need urgent mental health care can be referred to the centre by their GP, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire Mental Health Helpline, urgent healthcare services and emergency services.
Vivek Khosla, clinical director of Buckinghamshire’s mental health services, provided by Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust, said: “The urgent mental health care unit offers a specialist space for people to get specific treatment and support for their mental health when they are experiencing a mental health crisis and urgently need care.
“It offers an alternative to a busy A&E and is a hub of professional mental health expertise who offers people experiencing mental health crisis the right care, in the right environment, at the right time.”
Anyone concerned about their mental health, or for the mental health of a loved one, can contact Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire Mental Health Helpline 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The number for adults is 01865 904997. For children and young people the number is 01865 904998.