Early Intervention in Psychosis


What is psychosis?

Psychosis is characterised by hallucinations, delusions and disturbed thinking. It can cause considerable distress and disability for people affected, and for their families or carers.

It is estimated that there are approximate 1,600 new presentations of psychosis in Scotland a year. In recognition that this is a significant issue, Healthcare Improvement Scotland (HIS) has selected two NHS boards to participate in a detailed exploration of current Early Intervention in Psychosis (EIP) services. 


Research from previous work in Scotland has shown improved outcomes when using a bespoke model compared to a more generic model as inpatient stays can be significantly reduced, sometimes by up to 55%.

The economic benefits of EIP services are significant. The Centre for Mental Health found that patients who are supported by an EIP service, their total health care costs are 20-50% lower compared to those who receive standard care for up to five years. EIP services reduce the overall cost of mental health care per patient by £5,493 in the first year of psychosis and by £15,742 during the first three years.

In recognition that this is a significant issue, Scottish Government has commissioned Healthcare Improvement Scotland (HIS) to undertake a detailed exploration of current Early Intervention in Psychosis (EIP) services across Scotland. Phase 1 of this work commenced in 2019 and will conclude with production of a final report in March 2021. This work includes 4 main themes: - production and distribution of an evidence synthesis for EiP in rural and semi-rural areas - undertaking a national assessment of current practice in relation to the treatment of first episode psychosis - Facilitating and sharing learning from two accelerator sites (Forth Valley and Highland) with a particular focus initially on user-led research to understand in practice what is enabling and what is hindering people experiencing psychosis getting the right care in a timely way - establishing a national EiP Network and a learning system to offer opportunities to all NHS Boards and other key partners to share learning and change practice.

To access our latest Flash Report click here.

Accelerator boards
We are delighted to announce that NHS Forth Valley and NHS Highland and their associated Health and Social Care Partnerships (HSCPs) have been recruited to:

  • map current EIP service provision,
  • consider how relevant quality indicator data relating to psychosis can be best collected and optimised,
  • what is required to improve EIP services,
  • what a good EIP service looks like for service providers and service users, and
  • create and implement an improvement plan.

Early Intervention in Psychosis Network Events

We are bringing together the Early Intervention in Psychosis Network to share challenges and innovations during COVID and how we can learn from these to improve services for the future. This will be a virtual event, held on MS Teams on Tuesday 19 January 2021 13:00-14:30. Email his.mhportfolio@nhs.scot for details on how to register.

Early Intervention in Psychosis Improvement Network’s first event was held on Thursday 5 December 2019

Healthcare Improvement Scotland hosted the first network event and shared how we will deliver the actions in the Scottish Government report ‘Our Vision to Improve Early Intervention in Scotland’.

Please see our flash report here

Linda Hunter provided visual minutes for the day as seen below

Contact the Team

To contact the team for more information about the programme, events and resources contact our inbox at