A Mental Health Practitioner will be supporting members of the Lincolnshire Police control room in a new £60,000 pilot project from today.
Today, officers will have the support and advice of Mental Health Practitioner (MHP) Maureen O’Leary, one of a number of MHP’s who have been deployed to the control room to help deal with incidents involving mental health issues.
The £60,000 pilot project is being funded by the county’s Police and Crime Commissioner Marc Jones and involves MHPs from Lincolnshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust supporting front-line officers.
Officers on patrol across the county have said they are increasingly dealing with cases which involve mental health and learning disabilities. The crisis nurses will be on hand six days a week to offer advice and help officers deal with situations or direct them to alternative services.
The MHPs will provide a link between the force and services such as the Rapid Response Vehicle for Lincoln and Gainsborough, mental health liaison services within A&E and the Section 136 Suite. It is hoped the new service will result in a reduction in Section 136 detentions for mental health crisis, less need for the use of force on people in acute crisis and better referrals for those experiencing episodes of ill-health.
PCC Marc Jones has said the pilot, which will last 12 months, will be fully evaluated and if successful a full business case will submitted for continued funding.
He added: “I hope the new project will provide valuable support for officers dealing with very difficult circumstances on a daily basis as they keep our communities safe.
“It is equally important that we deal with vulnerable people as sympathetically and professionally as possible and get them the services and support they need quickly.
“The new crisis nurses will be on hand to help officers with the right advice, guidance and support to manage situations in the best way and to get the right help to the right place quickly.”
Dr John Brewin, LPFT Chief Executive said: “We are pleased to be working jointly with Lincolnshire Police in this way, and that the more vulnerable members of the community will be supported at such times of crisis.”
Detective Chief Superintendent Chris Davison, Mental Health lead for Lincolnshire Police added: “This is an excellent piece of partnership work between the Police and Crime Commissioner, LPFT and Lincolnshire Police to enhance the work we already do around supporting those members of the public who come into contact with the police while suffering from a mental health crisis.
“We’ve reduced the numbers of very unwell people being taken to Police cells, and we’re working as a partnership to ensure that the best possible care can be taken to look after those people who need care who find themselves in very difficult circumstances.
“The provision of these specialist staff, working in our control room at peak times, means that we have the best possible information and guidance available for front line officers who find themselves having to deal with people experiencing distress or harm through being mentally unwell”