A new out-of-hours Urgent Advice Line for users of NHS mental health services in Milton Keynes will be launched on Monday.
The facility, designed to save money and avoid unnecessary hospital admissions, will provide crisis support and advice for patients and their carers, outside normal service hours.
The new freephone service will be staffed by health professionals who have been trained to offer support and advice.
Cathy Walker, managing director of CNWL-MK, said: “We have worked with service users and carers to identify ways in which we can continue to improve our mental health services to best support local service users, including providing a single number and a line being answered by someone whose sole job it is to provide support and advice.
“We are confident the new out-of-hours crisis arrangements will best meet the needs of our service users and their carers.”
Claire Murdoch, chief executive of CNWL-MK, said: A similar helpline was piloted in London earlier this year and the feedback was stunning which is why we’re launching it Milton Keynes.
“The advantage is the urgent care line will offer direct help for patients and relieve pressure on A&E and what’s commonly known as bed blockers, so offering better outcomes all round.
“Service users can also request to be called back, particularly if they are calling from a mobile phone. The service can also be accessed through TypeTalk. A telephone interpreting service is also available in different languages.”
The new number is 0800 0234 650 and will be in operation Monday to Friday, 5pm to 9am.
A 24-hour service will be available at weekends and bank holidays.