Collaborative mental health initiative launched in Bedfordshire

Date: 18 July 2016

Mental Health Street Triage

A project to make sure patients experiencing a mental health crisis have rapid access to care has been created in Bedfordshire.

The Mental Health Street Triage is a partnership between the East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust (EEAST), Bedfordshire Police, East London NHS Foundation Trust, Bedfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group, and Luton Clinical Commissioning Group.

The pilot, which will see a team consisting of a paramedic, police officer, and mental health professional in one car respond to mental health calls 365 days a year. Their operational times will be from 3pm - 1am and will cover the whole county with bases at police headquarters in Kempston and Luton police station.

The team will attend 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. The team has a dedicated phone and can be referred to incidents by police and ambulance control rooms.

Area Clinical Lead Duncan Moore from the East of England Ambulance Trust said: “We come into contact with people suffering a mental health crisis on a near-daily basis. We are committed to developing the understanding and awareness of various mental health conditions, so that we can help people with diverse needs living in our communities. By doing this with other agencies in a coherent and meaningful way, and providing the relevant support together, we will help make a difference, and I‘d like to thank everyone involved in setting this up.”

Bedfordshire Police lead for Mental Health awareness, Chief Inspector Jaki Whittred, said: “We are committed to developing our understanding of mental health conditions, so we are able to serve and protect people with diverse needs.

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