Nurses will join police officers on call outs involving people with mental health problems as part of new scheme
Published: 20 Aug 2013 17:304 comments
Thames Valley Police is one of five new forces selected for the street triage programme aimed at improving the way people with mental health problems are treated during emergencies.
It includes nurses supporting officers while they are out on patrol, accompanying then on emergency calls and giving advice in control rooms.
It was announced by care and support minister Norman Lamb on Tuesday (20). He said: "Making sure people with mental health problems get the right assessment, care and treatment they need as quickly as possible is really important, especially in emergency situations.
"We know that some police forces are already doing an extremely good job of handling circumstances involving mentally ill people but we want this to be the reality everywhere. By providing police forces with the support of health professionals we can give officers the skills they need to treat vulnerable people appropriately in times of crisis."
Initial reports from other forces show it can help keep people out of custodial setting and reduce the demands on police time.
Vivienne Bennett, director of nursing at Public Health England, added: "Nurses play an invaluable role in helping people with mental health problems and these new street triage pilots will make sure that people get the help and assessments they need as quickly as possible in times of crisis."
Other forces chosen for the scheme include the Met Police and British Transport Police.
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