Partnership working between Police Scotland and NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde to improve the response to those in distress or suffering from mental health issues, who come into contact with the Police has been so effective and positive, it will continue.
Serving communities within Greater Glasgow, Renfrewshire, Inverclyde and West Dunbartonshire (G, K Divisions and LA Sub - Division), the Community Triage – NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde Crisis Out of Hours CPN Servicewas measured between January and June this year.
It provided police officers with out of hours telephone access to Community Psychiatric Nurses (CPNs), who provide professional support to both police officers and people in distress.
The CPNs can provide either advice to officers, or a telephone consultation to the individual about whom police are concerned. If deemed necessary, a face to face assessment will be carried out, and if need be, hospital admission can be arranged.
By working effectively with mental health professionals, frontline officers are making more informed decisions regarding vulnerable individuals and providing them with the support they need at that time to keep them safe. Referrals are made to the appropriate day time services, to ensure that those persons are given ongoing support to manage their situations at home. Police Scotland’s work with NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde Crisis Out of Hours CPN service is a successful example of partners working together to provide better outcomes for vulnerable people.
Linda Mackay, nMental Health Homeless Discharge and Resettlement Team Manager, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, said: "The Community Psychiatric Nursing, Crisis Out of Hours Service has developed a shared response with Police Scotland to improve a partnership working response for those individuals experiencing distress and mental health problems that often come into contact with the police.
“The service has been operational since January 2001 however prior to this development the service was not routinely accessed by Police Scotland.
“By working together we have been able to ensure that vulnerable individuals in mental health crisis can access this overnight mental health service and receive the support they need quickly and effectively to manage their situation at home.
“This has shown that the outcome and experience for the patient is more favourable and ongoing support can be arranged with day services should this be required.
“It also reduces unnecessary attendance at our already very busy Emergency Departments.
“The results of the partnership working continue to be positive for both the patient and front line officers that require professional support from the CPN'S.”
Furthermore, the partnership work means that the overwhelming majority of these vulnerable persons get the support they need in a very timely manner, often negating the need to wait at A & E Depts for lengthy periods. This means that police officers are returned to their front line duties as quickly as possible.
The results of the partnership work are very positive – between January and June this year, officers in the aforementioned areas, came into contact with 234 individuals in distress and or suffering from mental health , out of hours. 96% (225) of those persons were fit and well enough to remain at home after being assessed by the CPNs and in no need of further intervention at that time .
The service will continue across Greater Glasgow, Renfrewshire, Inverclyde and West Dunbartonshire .
A further pilot has now started at weekends in Edinburgh, E Div, in partnership with NHS Lothian, with several other areas across the country showing interest in developing similar services.
For further information either telephone NHSGGC's Press Office on 0141 201 4429 or Police Scotland Corporate Communications on 01786456 441.