Nottinghamshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner Paddy Tipping today welcomed the publication of a new national agreement which promises to deliver a better service to people suffering with mental health problems.
The Department of Health’s Mental Health Crisis Care Concordat has been signed by a broad range of organisations including the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners to improve the outcomes of those suffering a mental health crisis. It emphasises the importance of partnership working and aims to end current injustices by promoting stronger working relationships between health services, social care services and the police in the way they respond to sufferers.
Commenting on the Concordat, Commissioner Tipping said: “I warmly welcome the honesty of this agreement and its ambitious plans for reform. We share the view that greater partnership working is needed to ensure vulnerable people receive the care and help they need at the outset thus maximising their ability to recover and removing any potential danger to their safety.”
The Concordat is arranged around the following principles:
- Access to support before crisis point
- Urgent and emergency access to crisis care
- The right quality of treatment and care when in crisis
- Recovery and staying well, and preventing future crises
Assistant Chief Constable Simon Torr added: “We can often arrive at incidents where there is someone presents with mental health issues. Police officers then have to make a decision on how to deal with that individual.
“One of our core duties is to protect the public, but to arrest that person and put them in a cell will not help anyone. It does not solve the problem. It could be detrimental to their own progress and could lead to repeat incidents and often the police are not the best agency to deal.
“Where possible we detain people under the Mental Health Act and then refer them to our partners in health. But it is not always as straight-forward as that.
“The key to success in this area is a solid integrated partnership approach. What we require is the ability to get specialist assistance at the right time in a way that prevents unnecessary arrests and provide the best possible outcome.
“There is always room for improvement. We have set up a team to review our existing protocols and working practices to ensure they are relevant and robust
“The team is also reviewing officer training on the subject so they can better recognise and subsequently provide the appropriate support to those individuals. The training also aims to help officers and staff identify signs and symptoms within themselves and colleagues and raise awareness of the mechanisms in place to get help.
“This Concordat is our statement of intent to work together to ensure those requiring mental health support at a time of crisis get the right services at the right time and in the right environment.”
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Posted on Tuesday 18th February 2014