Enhanced Crisis Assessment Team (ECAT)

What we do

Enhanced Crisis Assessment and treatment is a clinical service based in the emergency department and performs prompt mental health assessment and coordination for treatment if appropriate.  Our clinicians provide specialized assessments, consultations and referrals for people of any age experiencing a mental health crisis when presenting to the Emergency Department.

We work collaboratively with patients and their families, or carers in the assessment and treatment of mental disorders to: Facilitate collaborative and seamless transfer of care to other services where appropriate. We provide a comprehensive acute Mental Health Service to the patient which maximizes the use of supports available within the patient's usual community and social environment.

Who we care for

Our service can be accessed by people of any age who are experiencing a mental health crisis.

These services should be used by people involved in a mental health emergency in the community. These might include: Individuals who feel that they need urgent assistance, Families or carers of those with a mental illness, Members of the general public who witness a mental health crisis and need assistance. It may also include health professionals and community welfare service providers.

How to access this service

Mental Health Regional Triage Service can be contacted on 1300 363 788. This service  provides 24-hour access to mental health services across the region and is Bendigo Health Mental Health Services single point of initial contact. 

or

Presenting to the Emergency Department where an initial face to face assessment will take place to determine.

Emergency Department

Ground Floor, Bendigo Hospital

Location

Drought Street, Bendigo, VIC, 3550

Phone

1300 363 788

How to refer your patient

Referrals must be made to Mental Health Regional Triage Service 1300 363 788. Patients can self-refer to this service.

It provides 24-hour access to mental health services across the region and is the single point of initial contact.

Referring persons are asked to provide the following information:

Any recent presentation/concerns and any new findings and recent medical investigations (Pathology, neurological testing/reports, Histology and Medical Imaging).

A list of current medications (if prescribed), relevant patient history, relevant family history, any other information pertinent and that may assist in decision making with patient, family/carer about their care and treatment.

Clinical service overview

The ECAT clinician provides prompt and accessible acute Mental Health screening, assessment and treatment for people with acute Mental Health disorders who present to the Emergency Department. The team will communicate with appropriate Emergency Department and Community AMHS regarding all appropriate responses. They engage with emergency services including Police and Ambulance for known category ‘A’ triage scale responses when necessary.

Referrals via triage will be assessed within the designated time frame for the triage category, initially by the receiving services however if they are unable to complete this the triage clinician will ensure alternative arrangements are made to respond to service demands or notify the manager or delegate to assist in resolving the matter.

A range of screening and assessment tools are available to support a comprehensive assessment in order to ensure organic causes of symptoms, alcohol or other substances are considered. The team will respond best to patient needs and geographical limitations, assessments can be conducted using video conferencing. There are guidelines and specific ECAT video conference assessment pathway documents available to support this mode of practice.

Assessments and care planning considers the safety and needs of family/carers and any dependent children. Ages and full names of dependent children as well as alternative carers are obtained as soon as possible. Once assessment has been conducted, the follow up treatment plan will be coordinated in consultation with the team providing the care.

Should admission to an inpatient or residential setting be indicated, the presentation is discussed with this teams’ medical staff. Documentation is completed on the CPDMR (Psychiatric Services Electronic Record) & VITRO DMR (Acute Bendigo Health Electronic Record) where required

All interventions aim to enable recovery or maximize individual functioning and independence. Interventions are individually tailored and responsive to the patients fluctuating and changing needs. Collaborative Clinical Plans can be used for patients where there is a level of complexity around their care and treatment.

Emergency Department

Ground Floor, Bendigo Hospital

Location

Drought Street, Bendigo, VIC, 3550

Phone

1300 363 788