Police cells over used to detain mentally ill people
- 19 Oct
Mental health bed crisis forces too many people with mental health problems to be placed in police cells.
Nathan Constable (pseudonym) - Community Care
Thursday 18 October 2012
The constant struggle by police officers and mental health social workers to find beds for detained patients contributes to the 'overuse' of police cells as places of safety, writes a police officer.
The chief inspector of prisons has found that most police forces are "dissatisfied" with Mental Health Act assessment services during evenings and weekends. He also warned that police cells are being overused as places of safety for people detained under the Mental Health Act by police.
On many occasions I've had an emergency duty team (EDT) refuse to come out and assess someone. Many seem content to ask the police to arrest the person and take them to the cells. We used to do this but we are beginning to refuse.
AMHPs and police need to understand each other's roles
I have been asked more than once to arrest someone for making "threats". The EDT's expectation is that we will just keep a person in a cell until the approved mental health professionals (AMHPs) are ready to carry out an assessment.
When we detain someone on a section 136 this leads to police officers having to sit with the detainee indefinitely. In fact, the lack of a sense of urgency is something all too apparent in after hours provision - even when a patient is struggling violently.
The chief inspector of prisons report also flags up issues around the overuse of police cells as a place of safety, rather than clinical NHS settings, when police detain people under section 136 of the Mental Health Act.
Some forces, like West Midlands, have managed to get 97% of their section 136 detainees into a clinical place of safety after many months of hard strategic work. Other forces are nearer 50-60%.
The remainder go to cells. The Independent Police Complaints Commission have recommended more than once that a police cell should never, ever be used as a place of safety apart from as a last resort.
The government is currently assessing police involvement in mental health cases with a view to heavily reducing the amount of work police have to do. I'm sure they will be looking at whether police cells should continue to be used to hold persons detained under the Mental Health Act.
If they decide they shouldn't then there will be a massive black hole in provision which mental health care providers will struggle to make up quickly.
Another problem with police cells is that there isn't the right equipment or staff on hand to deal with prolonged restraint
- 01 Jul
SCOTLAND AHEAD OF THE UK ON BUILDING NEW HOMES
SNP Housing Minister, Kevin Stewart said the following while commenting on Social Security and Equalities in the Scottish Parliament, SCN reports:"These figures demonstrate Scotland's strong...
- 23 Jun
HEALTHY DIETS FOR CARE HOMES
Joanna Cox, a manager of Chandos Lodge, said:"Food is a huge factor in our residents' lives and we want to ensure the meals we provide not only satisfy their tastes but benefit their health."Healthy...
- 16 Jun
DO HEALTH AND SOCIAL CARE SERVICES NEED INTEGRATION?
Although, many integration initiatives have been introduced across the NHS; For example, vanguard sites to the prime minister's Challenge Fund and integrated care pioneers- many involving GP...
- 15 Jun
LANDLORDS DIVIDED ON HOW TO VOTE IN EU REFERENDUM
The findings show that landlords are evenly split, with 35% intending to vote leave and 35% intending to vote to remain, reports Housing Excellence.According to Richard Lambert, the NLA's Chief...
- 10 Dec
Highest records of working families since 1996
Research has also shown that parents of young children, who were part of a couple, were almost twice as likely to be in a job. In comparison to older mothers, young mothers under 24 were only half as...
- 05 Dec
What percentage of people have mental disorders in the UK?
Percentage of adults suffering from common mental disorders:Prevalence of common mental disorders:Women (19.7%) are significantly more likely to experience common mental health disorders than men...
- 03 Dec
Safe Tweets, safe Twitter
Twitter is one of the most popular platforms where users across the globe collectively contribute 500 million Tweets every day. However, it can sometimes be inevitable that you come across content...
- 17 Jun
Google Creates System to Eradicate Child Abuse Images
Pressure was on the company to do something about the problem after it emerged that men convicted of murdering Tia Sharp, aged 12, and April Jones, aged 5, had been viewing the indecent images online...
- 04 Jun
How Councils Can Improve Home Care
Read the full article at Community Care.Southwark council has agreed in principle to Unison's ethical home care charter and is working with local providers to find out how they could raise pay ...
- 31 May
Man Aged 83 is First Reported Assisted Suicide for Dementia
Reported @ BBC News | Health on 31/5/13He was assessed as mentally competent to make the decision at the centre in Switzerland, as he was only in the first stages of the disease.He did not want to...
Responding to the DWP Consultation: Housing Benefit Reform - Supported Housing "I found the event informative and timely it helped me to complete our response to DWP without which I would have struggled." S.S. - Safe House