Early Intervention in Psychosis (EIP)

In 2011, “No Health without Mental Health”[1] highlighted the effectiveness of early intervention services for people experiencing first episode psychosis. There is good evidence that these early intervention in psychosis (EIP) services, when delivered in accordance with NICE standards, help people to recover from a first episode of psychosis and to gain a good quality of life.


In February 2015, NHS England published guidance[2] to support the new standards for mental health. The access and waiting time standard[3] for EIP requires that by 1 April 2016:

More than 50% of people experiencing a first episode of psychosis will be treated with a NICE approved care package within two weeks of referral.


The standard has two elements and both conditions must be met for the standard to be deemed to have been achieved:

1. A maximum wait of two weeks from referral to treatment; and

2. Treatment delivered in accordance with NICE guidelines for psychosis and schizophrenia - either in children and young people CG155[4] (2013) or in adults CG178[5] (2014).

Most initial episodes of psychosis occur between early adolescence and age 25 but the standard applies to people of all ages in line with NICE guidance.


The access standards have raised a number of questions including:

  • What are the requirements of the new standard?
  • What are the implications?
  • What are the opportunities?


Within Yorkshire and the Humber the Mental Health Network has established, in partnership with IRIS, an EIP Network to support Providers to implement the new standards, share best practice and innovation and ensure clear communication links to Mental Health Commissioners.


The Mental Health Network assists the EIP Network in the deliverance of timely and quality services by:

  • Facilitating engagement and information sharing from relevant national leads, including arranging for them to attend meetings to present when appropriate
  • Supporting EIP teams to understand demand by highlighting available incidence profiling
  • Disseminating information on the baseline position of teams in Yorkshire and the Humber including gap analysis, staffing, skill mix and ability to deliver NICE concordant interventions 
  • Assisting with preparation for the new data collection requirements by sharing best practice and guidance
  • Working with EIP teams to consider workforce capacity, skills and leadership 





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