A 24/7, community-based team to provide rapid assessment to people experiencing a crisis or mental distress.

First Response Teams are borough based teams responsible for all face to face urgent and emergency mental health assessments for people living in the boroughs of Brent, Harrow, Hillingdon, Kensington & Chelsea and Westminster.

First Responders will respond to urgent requests for mental health assessment in the community and at A&E, to determine the next best step for someone who is in need of urgent mental health attention or in crisis 24/7, 365 days a year.

They will advocate on behalf of the patient and their family, provide them with options and agree on the next best course of action in the interest of the patient.

First Responders will provide face to face gatekeeping assessment to people over 18 (including people in need of mental health act assessments) requiring emergency access to acute mental health services including Home Treatment Teams (HTT) and the Coves wherever the patient is located.

They also work closely alongside the Central Flow Hub and Single Point of Access are responsible for establishing whether admission to an inpatient ward is required.

There is a First Response Team in each borough. You can be seen by a First Responder if you are over 18 years and live in the following boroughs:

  • Brent
  • Harrow
  • Hillingdon
  • Kensington & Chelsea
  • Westminster

The First Response service is designed to provide rapid assessment for people whose mental state has deteriorated or in crisis.

First Response Team is a referral only service to ensure patients who need urgent support can be responded to within a timely manner.

The team accepts referrals from crisis services/secondary mental health services, which include:

  • Single Point of Access
  • Central Flow Hub
  • Home Treatment Teams
  • Liaison Psychiatry Teams
  • Community Mental Health Teams

If you require urgent mental support or advice, you should contact our 24/7 Single Point of Access where a clinician will triage through a telephone consultation. If they feel like a a face to face assessment is required within four hours (emergency) or 24 hours (urgent), they will refer to the First Response team, giving clear rationale on their decision and outlining any current risks.

If you are already being seen by one of our crisis services, such as Home Treatment Team, Community Mental Health Teams and Liaison Psychiatry Teams can also refer you to the First Response Team.