source: Mental Health Today
published: 10 October 2014
The mental health triage scheme, which sees psychiatric nurses attend with police officers to people suspected of being mentally unwell, is to be rolled out across the West Midlands after a successful pilot.
Since January, West Midlands Police officers have been crewed with psychiatric nurses and paramedics to answer calls in Birmingham and Solihull involving people believed to be experiencing mental ill health.
This has meant medical experts, rather than police officers, have been on hand to carry out assessments on individuals at the scene. They can also access patient records to determine if anyone they encounter is on medication or has previously experienced mental illness.
As a result, the number of people deemed necessary to detain under the Mental Health Act has dropped dramatically. In addition, those judged to be in need of help are now being taken to safe health facilities instead of police cells.