One of our region's police forces has been selected for a pilot scheme which aims to improve the treatment of people with mental health problems.
Thames Valley Police, which covers the county of Buckinghamshire, is one of a number of police forces taking part in the street triage scheme.
Mental health nurses will accompany officers to certain incidents to offer help and support. The aim is to ensure that people get the medical attention they need as quickly as possible.
As part of the scheme, mental health nurses will:
- Support police officers while they are out on patrol.
- Assist officers when they are responding to emergency calls.
- Give advice to staff in police control rooms.
Initial reports from established street triage schemes in other parts of the country show that it can help to keep people out of custodial settings and reduce the demands on valuable police time.
– Norman Lamb MP
Making sure people with mental health problems get the right assessment, care and treatment they need as quickly as possible is really important, especially in emergency situations.
We know that some police forces are already doing an extremely good job of handling circumstances involving mentally ill people but we want this to be the reality everywhere. By providing police forces with the support of health professionals we can give officers the skills they need to treat vulnerable people appropriately in times of crisis.