Metropolitan police not to respond to call from mental health units
- 07 Oct
Staff in psychiatric units fear that they will be put at risk if police do not respond to call that will help them restrain patients.
The Metropolitan police have ordered officers not to respond to calls from mental health units and emergency departments to help control and restrain patients unless there is a "significant threat to life or limb" reports the Guardian.
The decision by police has caused much confusion, anger and concern within psychiatric hospitals that fear that both staff and patients are being put at risk.
A growing dispute between police and health bodies on where to draw the line between each responsibility when dealing with violent people has seen managers in the NHS telling nursing staff within psychiatric units to record all incidents where police have been called for being refused.
Staff have fears that the lack of support could result in serious injury or death.
The Met are believed to have acted due to the growing concerns in the police service about the impossible burden that responding to incidents involving mental health issues are placing upon forces. They are concerned that staff in mental health facilities are specially trained to control and restrain psychiatric patients whereas the police are not.
Sever Met officers are under investigation by the police watchdog and could face manslaughter charges following the death of Seni Lewis after police were called to the Maudsley hospital and had to restrain him three times in the 45 minutes before he collapsed and died.
The new protocol was issued to borough commanders in the last eight weeks but not shared with local mental health units. It states:
• Transportation to a place of safety should be in the form of an ambulance and responsibility for transfers between psychiatric hospitals and to emergency departments rests with the hospital not the police.
• Police will not attend a health trust to assist in restraining patients receiving treatment or assessment.
• Police will not attend trust premises merely to restrain a patient located therein or to stand by and prevent a breach of the peace.
• Police will attend all premises in the event of a significant threat to life or limb that requires force necessary to regain control.
Chris Bourlet, Chief Superintendent of the Met's mental health team, has said that the protocol was an attempt to standardise responses across the capital. He has admitted that it was causing concerns within mental health facilities but said the Met was working to address those worries.
"This is about making sure everyone knows where we stand. This is not about withdrawing service where it is appropriate, it is about defining who is responsible for what and where the line is," he said.
Bourlet has also said that the Met policy was in line with the protocols issued nationally by the National Policing Improvement Agency.
The NPIA recommends that officers should not ordinarily be called to assist when a patient is displaying management problems, it is appropriate for officers to attend if there are insufficient numbers of trained staff in the unit, if a break of the peace of a crime is anticipated and if it is an emergency and the individual has to be taken to a place of safety that is not a current facility.
This has come out the same day as the BBC reports that many crime victims with mental illnesses feel let down, dismissed or treated without respect by the police.
361 people were questioned by the charities Victim Support and Mind and said they were often left disbelieved when they sought help after a crime.
The study says that almost half of people with some form of mental illness had experienced crime in the last year. It says that people with a severe mental illness were five times more likely to experience assault, while severely mentally ill women were 10 times more likely to be assaulted.
The interviewees for the survey said that when they sought help they found that they were being treated unfairly by the police and other agencies. Victims said that they found it difficult to convince police to take their reports seriously.
- 11 Sep
People in Bedfordshire can find mental health support through an audio guide
The guides have been written by clinical psychologists and are available to download in print or listen to as an audio file, reports Bedfordshire News.Dr Judy Baxter, Clinical Director with BCCG and...
- 10 Sep
Police officers in Dorset to receive mental health training
The partnership with the University comes as part of the county’s Mental Health Street Triage Project. It is hoped to equip officers with improved knowledge and skills to assess members of the...
- 09 Sep
People in Peterborough can refer themselves for mental health services
Through a drive to offer support to more people and ease pressure on doctors, people living in Peterborough can self-refer themselves to mental health services, reports Peterborough Today.Dr Adrian...
- 08 Sep
The first mental health centre for men
The site has been set up by Alex Eaton, whose dad took his own life and has suffered with mental health problems himself, in Burton upon Trent, reports BBC Newsbeat.Mr Eaton said: "We are the only...
- 07 Sep
NHS trust told no mental health beds available
Dr Bohdan Solomka has said that on Sunday a lack of beds were applied across the NHS and among private providers, reports the BBC. The director of the Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trusts...
- 07 Sep
Over 16,000 mental health referrals for young people have been rejected
Between July last year and June this year, data from the NHS has found that Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services rejected 5,396 referrals, reports STV News.Over the last three years 16,565...
- 04 Sep
New mental health centre to open in Ardwick
Plans to build a new £6m treatment and recovery centre in Manchester have been revealed. It will be built in Ardwick and be run by Alternative Futures Group, reports the Manchester Evening...
- 03 Sep
Research finds more chance of re-offending if mental health issues are present
Research has found that ex-prisoners with mental health problems and drug and alcohol misuse are more likely to commit violent offences after release than other former prisoners, reports the...
- 02 Sep
Drop in the number of people with mental health issues held in cells
Recent figures have found that the Crisis Care Concordat has seen over 10,000 people receive care from mental health nurses with the support from police officers, reports the Burton Mail.Figures have...
- 02 Sep
Mental health social work scheme accepting applications
100 places are now available for applicants who have a 2:1 or above undergraduate degree and can demonstrate attributes such as resilience and empathy, reports Community Care.The Think Ahead...
What are the Future Funding Arrangements for Supported and Sheltered Housing? "Information on Exempt Accommodation & DWP Review was very informative, but also commend your approach in delivering workshops/conferences in a proactive way, and use of email and your website as a public resource" P.C. - The Hyde Group