Due to a growing number of mental health cases, Operation Serenity sees a police officer and qualified mental health worker responding to crisis calls in a marked police car.
There were an average of 79 police calls every month, so Operation Serenity, launched in November 2012, currently operates on Friday and Saturday night. It is aimed at cutting the time spent dealing with incidents because those responding can give a better initial diagnosis.
Both officers and NHS staff have received cross over training and developed an understanding of the challenges faced by each agency.
Chief Inspector Nick Heelan said:
Care in the community has increased in the last 10 years and projects such as Operation Serenity show the adaptability and commitment of both the police, NHS and partner agencies to educate staff to ensure we deliver the best possible standard of service.
“We’re keen to test and analyse the effects of Operation Serenity which was funded by the Community Safety Partnership. Whilst this programme has only been running for three months, early signs are very positive and we look forward to a full review after six months.
“It may well be looked at as a blueprint for other areas both locally and regionally as well as enabling us to design future services to cater for those individuals identified as most at risk.”
Community Health Deputy Associate Director, Community Health Directorate at Isle of Wight NHS Trust, Mark Edmond, said: “This important project is already showing benefits for patients, the NHS and Police. Where ever possible we want to ensure that patients are treated in the most suitable and appropriate environment. One in ten of us will suffer from a problem with out mental health at some stage in our lives and there are many other ways to provide treatment and support on the Island without the need for an admission to Sevenacres.
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