Glossary of terms



ACT is an Alcohol Care Team provide specialist interventions and input into the care of alcohol dependent patients for those admitted into emergency services or acute inpatient settings.
Alcohol Harm Paradox
The trend observed that people of low socio-economic status tend to experience greater alcohol-related harm than those of high socio-economic status, even when alcohol consumption is reduced in more deprived areas.
Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services. Historically provided as a four tier model ranging from primary care provision through to specialist inpatient services.  This term is being superseded by CYPMHS in common parlance.
Clinical Commissioning Group. Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) were created following the Health and Social Care Act in 2012 and replaced Primary Care Trusts on 1 April 2013. They are clinically-led statutory NHS bodies responsible for the planning and commissioning of health care services for their local area.
Community Mental Health Teams (CMHTs) provide multi-disciplinary assessment, treatment and care of individuals with severe and enduring mental health problems.
Core 24
People in general medical settings often have mental health needs and therefore these settings require prompt access to high quality liaison psychiatry services 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Services that meet these requirements are known as “Core 24”. NHS England / Improvement set a goal that at least 50% of general hospitals will have liaison psychiatry services that meet the Core 24 standards for adults and older adults by 2020/21.  Core 24 services provide the following functions on a 24/7 basis:
  • Response to mental health crises in emergency departments and inpatient wards within one hour and urgent ward referrals within 24 hours
  • Completion of a full biopsychosocial assessment and formulation and contribution to treatment and collaborative care plans
  • Brief evidence based psychological interventions as an inpatient or short term outpatient follow up
  • Work with general hospital teams to reduce length of stay and improve follow up care, particularly for older adults
  • Advice and support to general staff regarding mental health care for their patients
  • Specialist care for older adults
Crisis Resolution Home Treatment (CRHT) services provide community based crisis response and intensive home treatment to those already in contact with mental health services as an alternative to acute inpatient admission. They also help facilitate early discharge from hospital.
Children and Young People's Mental Health Services.  This is the preferred term for services for children and young people experiencing mental health problems and is superseding the term CAMHS in common parlance.
Early Intervention in Psychosis (EIP) services work with people aged between 14 and 65 experiencing an emerging psychosis, typically described as first episode of psychosis, and also those identified with an “at risk mental state”. The role of these services is to provide prompt assessment, treatment and support to people developing psychosis. These services offer a range of evidence based interventions shown to help people with psychosis and their families.
Health of the Nations Outcomes Scales - this is used to provide a measure of the health and social functioning of people with severe mental illness and is the most widely used clinician reported outcome measure within English mental health services.
NHS Talking Therapies
NHS Talking Therapies (previously named IAPT*) are an NHS programme in England that offers interventions approved by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) for treating people with depression or anxiety.

Improving Access to Psychological Therapy (IAPT) services are being renamed in 2023 as NHS Talking Therapies, for anxiety and depression. For more information, visit the NHS England website.

Out of Area Placement (OAP) occurs when an adult assessed as requiring acute mental health inpatient care, is admitted to a unit that is not part of their local network of mental health services. 
An OAP is appropriate if a person is in crisis when they are away from their local area or if there are safeguarding issues. An OAP is inappropriate if the reason is non-availability of a local bed.
Section 136
Section 136 (S136) is part of the Mental Health Act. Section 136 gives the police the power to remove a person from a public place, when they appear to be suffering from a mental disorder, to a place of safety (most often within a mental health unit or at an Accident and Emergency Department but police stations can also be used as a place of safety as a last resort). 
Severe or Serious Mental Illness (SMI) refers to a psychological disorder that severely impairs a person’s ability to function in everyday tasks and activities.