Nurses enhance ‘crisis’ response

Crisis nurses are now based in the control room at Lincolnshire Police headquarters as part of a £60,000 pilot to help officers deal with incidents involving mental health issues and “get the right help to the right place quickly”.

Jul 19, 2017

Crisis nurses are now based in the control room at Lincolnshire Police headquarters as part of a £60,000 pilot to help officers deal with incidents involving mental health issues and “get the right help to the right place quickly”. The mental health practitioners (MHPs) will be on hand six days a week to offer advice and help officers deal with situations or direct them to alternative services. The MHPs will provide a link between the force and services such as the rapid response vehicle for Lincoln and Gainsborough, mental health liaison services within Accident and Emergency and the section 136 suite. It is hoped the new service will result in a reduction in section 136 detentions for mental health crisis, less need for the use of force on people in acute crisis and better referrals for those experiencing episodes of ill-health. The pilot went live last week in response to concerns by officers on patrol across the county that they were increasingly dealing with cases that involve mental health and learning disabilities (see PP561). Funded by police and crime commissioner (PCC) Marc Jones, the project is being supported by MHPs from the Lincolnshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust (LPFT). Detective Chief Superintendent Chris Davison, mental health lead for Lincolnshire Police, said: “This is an excellent piece of partnership work between the PCC, LPFT and Lincolnshire Police to enhance the work we already do around supporting those members of the public who come into contact with the police while suffering from a mental health crisis. “We’ve reduced the numbers of very unwell people being taken to police cells, and we’re working as a partnership to ensure that the best possible care can be taken to look after those people who need care who find themselves in very difficult circumstances. “The provision of these specialist staff, working in our control room at peak times, means that we have the best possible information and guidance available for front line officers who find themselves having to deal with people experiencing distress or harm through being mentally unwell.” Mr Jones says the pilot, which will last for 12 months, will be fully evaluated and if successful a full business case will be submitted for continued funding. He added: “I hope the new project will provide valuable support for officers dealing with very difficult circumstances on a daily basis as they keep our communities safe. “It is equally important that we deal with vulnerable people as sympathetically and professionally as possible and get them the services and support they need quickly. “The new crisis nurses will be on hand to help officers with the right advice, guidance and support to manage situations in the best way and to get the right help to the right place quickly.” Dr John Brewin, LPFT chief executive, added: “We are pleased to be working jointly with Lincolnshire Police in this way, and that the more vulnerable members of the community will be supported at such times of crisis.”

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