The Core Study


Item 12

Provision of information to service users and families about treatment plans and visits 


a) Written information about the CRT, its role and contact details is provided to all service users and carers present at initial assessment.

b) A written treatment plan identifying the interventions the CRT will provide is provided to all service users and involved family/carers within 4 working days. 

c) Home visits and meetings with CRT staff are arranged the day before for at least 80% of service users currently on the case load.

d) Service users are given a definite time, or a window of time of not more than one hour, at which visits will occur.

e) CRT staff arrive within an hour of the planned time at least 80% of the time. 

f) Service users are phoned in advance if CRT staff will be more than 15 minutes late at least 80% of the time.

Why this is important

If service users and carers are to feel fully supported and involved in the care they receive from the CRT, it is important that they are kept fully informed about what to expect from the CRT. This will include the provision of information about the CRT at the start of treatment, and also continued communication about treatment plans and when to expect visits from the CRT.

In the video below, service users and carers talk about the importance of keeping to appointment times, as well as the nature of the relationship between professionals, service users, and carers. 

Ways of doing this well

Providing written information and types of support and service users treatment plans 

Clear leaflets with CRT contact details can be a very useful resource to give to service users at initial assessments, giving them a further opportunity to learn more about the Crisis Team's role.

The Chichester CRHTT provide everyone they see with contact cards.  They have one version for service users they take on to their caseload, and another version for those referrals they do not accept:

Adur, Arundel & Worthing have a brief 72 hour care plan they give to service users which outlines the main points of Crisis team support and displays the home visits that have been planned in the first few days of their support.

Completing an initial care plan with the service user. This need not be comprehensive, but it will provide information which will allow service users to fully understand what to expect from CRT care. Adur, Arundel & Worthing and North Somerset Intensive Service use  comprehensive and clear care plans.

The North Bristol team have a care planning flow chart that helps staff to check that plans are updated regularly and useful to service users, and a helpful summary about care planning in general:

Timings of visits 

  • A home visits diary in the CRT office or managed by the shift coordinator may help staff to book the next day's visit with a service user with confidence it can be delivered.
  • If CRTs feel it is not practical to commit to coming at an exact time, service user feedback is that short time periods are much more preferable to "morning" or "afternoon", for example a two hour window of time like 10am-12pm.

Examples of good practice

In our fidelity review survey of 75 crisis teams in 2014, the following team achieved excellent model fidelity, and can be contacted for advice about how they achieved this:

  • Mid Surrey (Epsom) HTT, Surrey and Borders Partnership NHS Foundation Trust

Relevant reading

Department of Health (2001) Mental Health Policy Implementation Guide

Service users and their family/carers should be provided with the following information:

• Description of the service, range of interventions provided and what to expect

• Name and contact details of care co-ordinator and other relevant members of the team

• Contact details for out of hours advice and help

• Care plan and comprehensive information about medication

• Relapse prevention and crisis plan

• Discharge plan

• How to express views on the service. (p.22)