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Health and justice experts gather for high-profile mental health meeting

A multi-agency event is to be held in Nottinghamshire to identify how services and support can be improved for people experiencing mental health distress.

The Crisis Concordat meeting, which takes place in Nottingham on September 25, brings together experts from a range of agencies including policing, health, third sector organisations and social care to examine the response to people facing mental health crisis in Nottingham and Nottinghamshire and how this can be improved.

It follows the recent publication of the Department of Health’s Crisis Care Concordat – a document signed by a multitude of professional agencies committed to protecting the wellbeing of vulnerable members of society living with a mental health issue. At its core, the Concordat aims to ensure people receive access to help and treatment in the most appropriate setting and by the most appropriate professional to aid their recovery.   

A number of organisations including Clinical Commissioning Groups, Police and Crime Commissioners and service providers are tasked with delivering local action plans to drive forward improvements in mental health services. They have a duty to pull organisations together to identify any problems and weaknesses and to collectively offer solutions to ensure the needs of vulnerable people are met in urgent situations.

Nottinghamshire Police and Crime Commissioner Paddy Tipping is to jointly host the event with Nottingham City, Nottinghamshire County and Bassetlaw Clinical Commissioning Groups.

A range of high-profile speakers will be delivering presentations on the day including Dr Geraldine Strathdee, National Clinical Director for Mental Health, NHS England, and Nat Miles, Senior Policy and Campaigns Officer for Mind UK.

Commenting on the Crisis Concordat meeting, Commissioner Tipping said: “As patrons of the public, we all have a serious responsibility to protect the welfare of those who find themselves in the grip of a mental health crisis. The procedures of the past have been quite clearly unacceptable and we are all in agreement that a much better future and care plan must be identified to protect vulnerable people and help them recover.

“This meeting brings together every organisation in regular contact with people experiencing mental distress to share experiences and find out what is and isn’t working. The hope is that where gaps in provision and support are identified we can develop new systems in order to deliver relevant care quicker. This will eliminate the risks of people slipping through the net.

“The Concordat addresses some serious issues including making sure individuals have access to suitable places of safety rather than being locked up in police cells. But it also has much wider goals including reducing the number of people who go into crisis in the first place and developing more effective prevention measures.”

Commissioner Tipping has prioritised the welfare and safety of those suffering a mental health crisis in his Police and Crime Plan. As part of an effort to improve the way police respond to vulnerable people, he has worked with Clinical Commissioning Groups to introduce Mental Health Triage Cars in Nottingham. These vehicles are staffed by a police officer and a mental health nurse and will respond to people experiencing a mental health crisis.  

Reports indicate that responding to the needs of individuals with mental health needs can account for up to 20% of police time when, in many cases, many of these individuals need help from health and social care agencies, not the police. This signals the importance of organisations working together to improve how services are delivered.

The Concordat core principles are:

  • Access to support before crisis point.
  • Urgent and emergency access to crisis care with the explicit recognition that police officers should not have to consider using police custody as an alternative just because there is a lack of local mental health provision, or unavailability at certain times of the day or night. 
  • The right quality of treatment and care when in crisis. 
  • Recovery and staying well, and preventing future crises. 

The Nottinghamshire event will be held at the Atrium in Nottingham from 9am until 4pm on September 25. 


Media Enquiries:    Sallie Blair - 01283 821012 / 07702 541401



Posted on Thursday 25th September 2014
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