In recent weeks, Channel 4 have broadcast a new documentary. Titled “Losing It: Our Mental Health Emergency”, it focuses on patients who are in a mental health crisis.
The Issues Raised
Frighteningly, the pressure on the NHS staff is clearly astronomical. Suicidal teenager, Josh, is a prime example of how the long waiting times for mental health services can result in the problem escalating. In his case, he took an overdose before he could be seen by his local CAMHS (Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service). The Crisis Team had to make a risky decision. Should they send Josh home to be cared for by his mother? In only five days, Josh was back in hospital after self harming.
In the same episode, a man with schizophrenia, Christopher, explained how he had been receiving support in the community for 11 years. He was due for discharge. This prospect caused him to become so overwhelmed by anxiety that he stabbed himself. The psychiatric nurse highlighted how stretched the support team are and how they’re getting multiple referrals every day.
Each episode reveals different struggles faced by a group of very different people. However, they all have one thing in common. The question is, if they had received treatment sooner, would each of these people reached crisis point?
NHS vs. Private Treatment
Admittedly, private treatment isn’t a possibility for everyone. Financially, for many patients, the NHS is the only option, however private medical insurers are now becoming more and more aware of the mental health conditions many of their customers face. Not only do many of these providers fund standard treatments, like talking therapies, but the majority also cover Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation and other more innovative treatment options.
Waiting times are reduced significantly for those who are able fund private treatment. Whether self-funded or paid for through insurance, patients can be seen by professionals sooner. Most importantly, this allows their conditions to be kept under control, before they reach crisis point.
Excitingly, more and more NHS Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) are recognising that there are options beyond the standard treatments for mental health conditions. NHS patients are able to contact their GP and ask for an Independent Funding Request to be submitted on their behalf. This is a request for their local CCG to fund treatment that is otherwise not available on the NHS. Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation is one such treatment. The applying GP/psychiatrist will need to detail:
- Why their patient’s clinical needs are different to other patients;
- Why their patient would benefit from the requested treatment;
- Any clinical evidence to support their patient’s request for the chosen treatment.
Click here to watch “Losing It: Our Mental Health Emergency”.
To learn more about Smart TMS treatment, please contact us. If you are asking your GP or psychiatrist to submit an Independent Funding Request and would like some further information to back up your application, our team can also provide you with this.