NHS experts have joined Durham Constabulary’s call centre to improve the support provided to people suffering with mental health illnesses.
Tees Esk and Wear Valleys NHS Foundation Trust and Durham Constabulary have joined forces to deliver a new street triage service across County Durham.
As part of the new service, mental health practitioners will work with police officers to offer mental health advice and guidance.
Where necessary experts will attend incidents to assess the mental health of people who have come into contact with police officers.
Commenting on the new partnership Fran Bergin, Tees Esk and Wear Valleys adult mental health locality manager said:
Mike Barton, Chief Constable of Durham Constabulary, said:
In 2009 the Trust was one of the first in the country to pilot a street triage service in Teesside, which had a significant impact and paved the way for other similar services across the UK.
Ron Hogg, Durham Police, Crime and Victim’s Commissioner commented:
A team of three mental health staff will operate between 2pm and 12pm, seven days a week.
One member of the team will work directly in the Police Force Control Room and two will provide a mobile resource for community based assessment with police.
The new service will provide telephone support to patients and police officers/staff, as well as general mental health and mental health act information for police officers to help inform them whilst they carry out their duties.
The street triage team will also, where necessary, attend police call-outs to provide face to face assessments and sign posting for people who may require support when they come into contact with officers.
The partnership approach will equip police officers with wider knowledge and a better understanding of issues affecting those with mental health issues.
It will also make sure that people receive timely and appropriate support and allow officer time to be freed-up to attend other incidents.