Mental health initiative gets boost

A project to make sure patients experiencing a mental health crisis have rapid access to care has received £200,000 to develop and deploy two new specialist vehicles. 

The Mental Health Street Triage is a partnership between the us, Bedfordshire Police, East London NHS Foundation Trust, Bedfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group, and Luton Clinical Commissioning Group. The service started in June and is a team consisting of a paramedic, police officer and mental health professional responding to mental health calls across Bedfordshire. The team attends incidents where there is an immediate threat to life – someone threatening to self-harm – or where a third party has called the police or ambulance and expressed concern for someone. 

Patients told us that they would prefer a response from the team in a vehicle that does not look like a police or ambulance response car. At the same time we wanted to develop a vehicle that provided space and privacy for a physical assessment to be made by the paramedic and a mental health assessment to be made by the nurse. 

Simon King, Senior Locality Manager, said: “Our patients told us what would make the service better and I am delighted that we have secured this funding to procure two new vehicles based on their feedback.  It will also ensure that the team can provide a rapid response to people in a crisis in modern purpose built vehicles and transport them in comfort if required to do so.

“This initiative is a great example of partnership working; getting a whole range of organisations together to help improve lives and offer better care, protection and treatment.”

Chief Inspector Jaki Whittred, from Bedfordshire Police, added: “I’m delighted that the awarding panel recognised how important the Mental Health Street Triage partnership is in delivering the right help to people in mental health crisis. Bedfordshire Police is committed to working with health colleagues to ensure that we continue to develop and sustain our street triage scheme and this funding award will really assist us in doing so.”

Pictured: Lola Arch, Dave Dixon, Jo Hare, Lisa Mirkett and Warren Olsen from EEAST along with other members of the team.

Published 9th November, 2016 

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