CMHTs (Community Mental Health Teams) provide specialist care to people experiencing mental health crises, as well as ongoing primary care support for people with chronic mental health conditions with the aim to prevent admittance to secondary or tertiary health care. Different professionals make up a CMHT but usually includes specialisms such as psychiatrists, psychologists, community psychiatric nurses, social workers, and occupational therapists.
This article examines the referral stage of the OT process: the attitudes of CMHTs receiving referrals, and the GPs who refer patients to them. The qualitative information was gathered via semi-structured interviews, referral meeting transcripts and questionnaires.
Problems with the referral process in CMHTs
Overall, Chew-Graham et al found a lack of consistency between CMHT teams, and referral criteria boundaries varied depending on the individual attitudes of CMHT team leaders. Referring GP’s knowledge of mental health issues and caution around risk also varied between individuals. Read more