A Midlands based specialist mental health psychosis service became the first to be accredited by the Royal College of Psychiatrists.

The Early Intervention in Psychosis (EIP) team, provided by Midland Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, is based in Shropshire, Telford & Wrekin and supports people aged between 14 and 65 and their families/carers who are experiencing – or at risk of experiencing – a first episode of psychosis.

Earlier this year the EIP team became the first of its kind nationally to be accredited by the Royal College of Psychiatrists; a significant achievement. The service went through a rigorous accreditation process including self and peer reviews before consideration by the Royal College of Psychiatrist’s Accreditation Committee, who measured the service against national standards for early intervention in psychosis.

The team exceeded all of the targets set by the Royal College including access, waiting times and offering a NICE approved treatment package within two weeks.

Early Intervention Psychosis team offer

The team provide a rapid response to people who are experiencing - or at risk of experiencing - a first episode of psychosis. They quickly implement comprehensive psychiatric assessments, physical health assessments, psychological formulations, and provide comprehensive psychoeducation for families and carers, which includes access to appropriate support groups. In addition service users are provided with guidance around healthy lifestyles, support to increase socialisation and Individual Placement Support (IPS) which helps people with mental health illnesses access and retain employment and education.

The impact on service users

The EIP team have made a significant impact on service users from Shropshire, Telford & Wrekin. Many of whom took park in the peer review assessments, which supported the service’s accreditation from the Royal College of Psychiatrists. One of those service users is Michael, a young man who was supported by the team for two and a half years.

Before being referred to the EIP team Michael was withdrawn, had not left his home for a significant period of time and was anxious and experiencing voices and hallucinations.

It took a little while for Michael to engage with the service and for the team to gain his trust, which isn’t uncommon. But the team acted quickly to support Michael, initially prescribing a low dose of anti-psychotic medication. He then received a full package of care with psychiatric and psychological support, care co-ordination and additional support for his family who were supporting his recovery.

Michael made vast improvements and formed an important relationship with his dedicated support worker who encouraged Michael to take up football. After six month of building up the confidence to take part, Michael joined a local football team which has helped him immensely - both mentally and physically. Michael lost six stone in weight and gained self-confidence.   

Michael has since left the service and moved to the south west with his girlfriend, which was a big step for him. Since moving he has been in touch with the team to let them know that he is continuing to make progress and has returned to college. He is also applying for jobs, cooking for himself and his girlfriend and learning to drive. He feels much more confident and is able to make eye contact with strangers, something that he never thought possible due to having Asperger’s syndrome. Michael continues to play football and is enjoying life.

Michael is one of many service users who demonstrate that early support and intervention from services such as the Early Intervention for Psychosis team has the ability to positively alter the trajectory of somebody’s life so that they can achieve their full potential.