Mental Health Triage project shortlisted for award


An innovative project that sees police and mental health professionals working together is in the running to win a prestigious competition.

CNWL’s Mental Health Street Triage Service has been shortlisted in the Innovation in Mental Health category of the Health Service Journal Awards 2015.

The annual awards promote the best in healthcare across the UK so to be shortlisted is an achievement. Awards will be presented on November 18 at Grosvenor House Hotel, Park Lane, London.

The project, run jointly by Thames Valley Police and CNWL, ensures people get appropriate care at the earliest possible opportunity.

It started on 2 January and operates between 6pm and 2am seven days a week.

During the first six months of the scheme, mental health triage was involved in 131 incidents, of which only nine have resulted in people being detained under Section 136 of the Mental Health Act (less than seven per cent).

Overall, that has resulted in a 56 per cent reduction year-to-date of S136 detentions, clearly showing that those suffering from a mental health crisis are being dealt with appropriately and signposted to the correct service following initial contact.

CNWL’s Chief Executive Claire Murdoch said: “This is brilliant news and the joint team really deserves this shortlisting. They have made an incredible difference in such a short time to people in crisis. The project also shows the values of working in partnership with our stakeholders. I’ll be crossing my fingers for 18 November.”

Chief Insp Paul Halstead, Deputy Local Policing Area Commander for Milton Keynes, said: “This nomination is an acknowledgement of all the hard work carried out by both Thames valley police and CNWL in delivering an improved Mental health service to vulnerable people across Milton Keynes. It is a great example of how working in partnership has provided appropriate care at the earliest possible opportunity.”

Highlights of the scheme:

• Improved experience for people experiencing a mental health crisis.

• Fewer detainees are being released with no further need for mental health services suggesting more appropriate use of powers.

• Better outcomes for people; where pathways have been identified people are remaining in services for longer increasing their rate of recovery.

• Savings in police time when dealing with mental health incidents allowing them to resume other duties.

• Officers report that mental health triage allows them to react faster, make more informed risk assessments and hence better decisions. Officers report that they are gaining in confidence when dealing with mental health crises.

The scheme has been so successful that the pilot has been extended until March 31, 2016.