A report co-authored by a University of Salford academic has led to the rolling out of a new mental health care scheme for Greater Manchester’s police and health services.
The new report, from Ian Cummins of the University of Salford and David Edmondston of Manchester Metropolitan University, analysed a mental health triage scheme in Oldham.
The scheme, the first of its kind in Greater Manchester, was run in partnership with Greater Manchester Police and the Pennine Care NHS Foundation Trust. Police officers were able to contact a dedicated 24-hour telephone number for professional advice and assistance from RAID (Rapid Assessment Interface and Discharge), the Trust’s psychiatric liaison service, when they believed somebody was suffering with mental health issues.
It was found that the service resulted in quicker assessments for people affected by a mental health crisis, thereby reducing officer time spent dealing with people with such problems. It also ensured that people in need of urgent care are seen by medical professionals and not locked in police cells.
The unveiling of the report and announcement that the scheme was to be rolled out across Greater Manchester was made by Police and Crime Commissioner Tony Lloyd at the University of Salford last week.
Speaking ahead of the event Tony Lloyd said: “This is a step forward in transforming the care and support people suffering a mental health crisis receive. But it’s also important to acknowledge there’s been a commitment from all agencies for some time now to work together, with the rollout of the triage scheme and the launch of Sanctuary projects in Manchester and Wigan to provide overnight support to people suffering a mental health crisis. Vitally, this is having a real impact and means vulnerable people are getting a better service.
“I will continue to drive forward this work, bringing agencies together to make sure that we continue to make strides in transforming how we deliver services and protect the most vulnerable in our society.”
Ian Cummins added: “It’s clear from the work we have done analysing the Oldham Mental Health Phone Triage/RAID Pilot that this scheme has been a real success.
“I’m delighted that the scheme is now being rolled out across Greater Manchester. This new approach from police and health services will mean faster assessments and better care for people who are often suffering severe mental health crises.”