Access and Assessment Service Suffolk

  • Our Access and Assessment Service in Suffolk makes it easier to get the right mental health service as quickly as possible. This service is for individuals over the age of 25 in Suffolk. They must have a GP. The team provides advice and assessment on all mental health conditions. The Access and Assessment Service in Suffolk does not provide long-term treatment. It makes referrals to other mental health teams following assessment, if needed.

  • Service Manager Lead: Bonnie Lewis
  • Service Contact: Telephone 0300 123 1334. Email nmh-tr.suffolkaccessandassessmentteam@nhs.net (for professional use only)
  • Address:
    Mariner House,  Handford Road, Ipswich, IP1 2GA
  • Service hours: This service is available Monday to Friday from 08:00 to 20:00.

What this service offers

The Access and Assessment Service in Suffolk works on the principles that:

  • People who use this service are central to all practice and assessments. Outcomes and processes will all be reflective of this
  • Assessments will be comprehensive and include, where possible, a holistic assessment. The assessment acknowledges views and experiences of the people who use this service
  • Assessments will include needs and any factors impacting these. They will focus on recovery, and identify appropriate outcomes for supporting service users in overcoming their difficulties.

GPs and other referrers can call us. Our Access and Assessment Service in Suffolk then screen the referral. Following screening we arrange an appointment by telephone, within the appropriate timeframe.

We then complete assessments of people’s mental health needs. Then refer to an appropriate team. Or we may signpost the person to services and resources which may be able to support them.

The Access and Assessment Service team will undertake assessments in a variety of ways. A decision about how and where assessments will be undertaken follows a risk assessment. We consider factors which influence a person's ability to engage in the assessment. Assessments can be undertaken:

  • Through telephone calls
  • Using video conferencing technology (Attend Anywhere)
  • Face to face at one of our Trust sites
  • Within service user's homes.

Our team ensures that GPs and other referrers receive feedback. This includes appointment information and other follow-up actions.

If you are a person under 25, or acting on behalf of a person under 25, you should contact the Emotional Wellbeing Hub. The team there will be able to assist you. Please visit the Emotional Wellbeing Hub website for more information and details of how to refer.  

Access this service

Our Access and Assessment Service in Suffolk accept referrals when:

  • A GP, or other health or social care professional, has contact with a person who consents to an assessment. Or where their mental health needs are causing concern
  • There is a need for advice and guidance about medications or interventions.

The service accepts referrals by e-referral and letter.

At the point of making a referral we need the referrer to identify if the need for assessment is:

  • urgent (within 72 hours)
  • or routine (within 28 days).

A Mental Health Practitioner screens the referral. This includes reviewing whether there is an urgent or routine need. We will discuss any need for change with our team and the referrer.

How this service support carers including friends and family

Our team offers advice and information to family and carers on general matters. And with consent can provide specific advice and support on individual cases.

Urgent help

If you are a service user and are in crisis and need support urgently you can contact your service on the number which will have been provided.  

Call 0808 196 3494 to speak to our 24 hour mental health crisis line called First Response.

If you are with someone who has attempted suicide, call 999 and stay with them until the ambulance arrives. 

If anyone is at serious risk of harm, call 999 and ask for the police. 

For non-life threatening medical situations, call NHS111 on 111.  

For more information, see Help in a Crisis

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