9 November 2022

Hillingdon Health Care Partners officially opened The Retreat this week; a six bedded house offering a non-clinical space for people in need of respite during a mental health crisis. It’s run by Comfort Care Services, a specialist care organisation working closely with CNWL’s Home Treatment Team and other healthcare partners in the borough.

Referrals can be made from urgent care services (such as Accident and Emergency departments, GPs and the Trust’s Single Point of Access Service) to CNWL’s Home Treatment Team who maintain the clinical oversight and continuity of care.

At the launch event held on 8 November 2022, Vanessa Odlin, CNWL’s Managing Director for Hillingdon, said

“Together, we recognised that there was a gap in non-clinical crisis services and we joined forces as a healthcare partnership to help. I want to say a huge thank to our partners and our staff for making this possible.”

Gee CEO of Comfort Care.jpgGee Bafhtiar (Far left) CEO of Comfort Care Services, said

“Our Retreat is designed to be like a home; providing a relaxing environment for our guests. It’s focuses on prevention and care that is personalised to them so if someone finds a particular time of year, such as an anniversary difficult, then we can be ready to help them during that time.”

At the event Gee shared the example of a guest that stayed with them for just four days and has now gone from being in a crisis to returning to university.

Gee continued “Since opening our doors this summer for a brief pilot, before launching fully today, all the guests that have stayed with us have been able to return home or into the community after just four and a half days. For many we know that staying in a non-clinical environment helps them to recover quicker; it offers a choice.The Retreat Team.jpg

“The 10 guests who’ve stayed with us so far are mostly going through a crisis, for the first time and we are able to offer them the short term support they need. They’ve helped co-design the service and we’ve learnt a great deal from the people who’ve stayed with us.”

Counsellor Jane Palmer, Cabinet Member for Health and Social Care in Hillingdon, cut the ribbon to open The Retreat and said

“What a pleasure to be witRibbon Cutting.jpgh such inspirational people. Thank you to each one of you. We can be proud that we offer services like this in Hillingdon.”

The service is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year and provides short stay crisis respite care for up to five days depending on needs (longer stays of up to 10 days are possible on a case by case basis).

It’s located in Ruislip and offers a place for up to 6 people at any one time, who are experiencing a mental health crisis but do not require inpatient admission or detention under S136 or any other section of the Mental Health Act 1983.

Evidence shows that this type of facility led by the independent/voluntary sector, supported by the specialist mental health services, delivers good outcomes for people in crisis and supports system management and efficiency. It will contribute to a flexible and responsive pathway and an alternative to A&E.

The Retreat service information page (opens link)