What is The CRIMSON Trial?
Crimson is a research study that looked to find out if people who develop a Joint Crisis Plan are less likely to be admitted to hospital against their will (in other words 'sectioned' under the Mental Health Act).
What is a Joint Crisis Plan?
The Joint Crisis Plan is developed by seeking agreement between the patient and their mental health team about what to do if they become unwell in the future. An independent person (or “facilitator”) helps the patient and the team to reach agreement and makes sure that the patient's voice is heard. The Joint Crisis Plan can include things like an individual the patient would like to have contacted in a crisis; treatments that have been helpful or unhelpful in the past; treatment preferences or refusals, and practical arrangements.
Why carry out the research?
The use of compulsory treatment under the Mental Health Act has continued to rise in England in recent years, against the European trend and despite UK government policy that service users should be subjected to the least restrictive forms of care. There are particular concerns in England that black service users experience more coercive mental health care than white service users.
The Joint Crisis Plan is to date the only structured intervention that has been shown to reduce compulsory treatment. A pilot study of JCPs in south London by the same research team showed coercive treatment under the Mental Health Act was halved by the use of JCPs and suggested service users felt more involved and positive about their care as a result of negotiating a plan.
If this large randomised controlled trial shows JCPs work and are cost effective, they are likely to be widely demanded by service users. The results of this trial will have important implications for mental health policy and service planning for adults with psychotic illnesses.