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Mental health street triage scoops partnership award

A pioneering street triage initiative has been named as the winner of the Police and Crime Commissioner’s Partnership Award, less than a year since its team of mental health nurses first took to the streets with Nottinghamshire Police.

The Street Triage scheme was launched in April last year and sees a team of specially-trained mental health nurses working alongside police officers to help people with mental health and learning disabilities receive the right care and treatment in an emergency situation.

The Nottinghamshire-wide initiative is delivered through a partnership of NHS organisations, police and local authorities. The nurses work with the police to respond to emergency calls from individuals who are in distress or in vulnerable situations because of mental health problems or learning disabilities.

The team was awarded the Police and Crime Commissioner’s Partnership Award at a special ceremony held at the Albert Hall in Nottingham on 4 February. 

The scheme was nominated by Chief Inspector Kim Molloy for the important role it has played in helping to divert people with mental health problems away from the criminal justice system unnecessarily as a result of their mental illness and for giving them more appropriate support, treatment and care instead.

A team of specialist mental health nurses from Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust work alongside police officers on callouts in marked street triage cars where vulnerable people need immediate on the spot mental health support. Nurses can also offer telephone advice to police officers and help them decide on the appropriate healthcare service to refer to.

The scheme has helped to reduce the number of people being detained or taken to a dedicated place of safety for vulnerable people requiring a psychiatric assessment. It has also helped to reduce the numbers taken to Emergency Departments at local hospitals for problems that can be dealt with at home or in the community.

Simon Smith, Executive Director Local Services at Nottinghamshire Healthcare, said: “This innovative service provides essential support to vulnerable people needing immediate mental health support, ensuring that they receive the best and most appropriate care to meet their needs. We are delighted that the team’s work has received such recognition.”

When comparing April 2013 – January 2014 and April 2014 – January 2015 there has been a 39% decrease in overall Section 136 detentions and a 54% decrease in the amount of people detained under Section 136 taken to police custody as a first place of safety.

The Partnership category was part of the Nottinghamshire Police’s annual awards, sponsored by Nottingham Trent University, Capita and Capital One held on 4 February 2015.

Around 350 guests attended the event at the Albert Hall in Nottingham including Nottinghamshire Police Chief Constable Chris Eyre, Nottinghamshire Police and Crime Commissioner Paddy Tipping, Vice Lord-Lieutenant Col Tim Richmond and High Sheriff of Nottinghamshire Graham Cartledge.

The Street Triage scheme is jointly commissioned by seven Clinical Commissioning Groups across Nottinghamshire: Nottingham City, Nottingham North and East, Rushcliffe, Nottingham West, Newark and Sherwood, Mansfield and Ashfield, and Bassetlaw. It was developed by Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust, Nottinghamshire Police, Nottingham City Council, Nottinghamshire County Council and the Nottinghamshire Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner.

Published: 12 February 2015