Mental health pilot project shows outstanding results

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A pilot scheme to provide enhanced out of hours mental health care to people who come into contact with the police have been so impressive the project is to continue.

In the pilot, police officers were given out-of-hours telephone access to Community Psychiatric Nurses (CPNs) who provided professional support to people in distress.

The project - the Community Triage; NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde Crisis Out of Hours CPN Service - ran between January and June this year within Greater Glasgow, Renfrewshire, Inverclyde and West Dunbartonshire.

CPNs provided advice to officers or a telephone consultation to the individual about whom police are concerned.

Where necessary, a face-to-face assessment was carried out, and if needed, hospital admission was arranged.

Working with mental health professionals, frontline officers were making more informed decisions regarding vulnerable individuals and providing them with the support they needed at that time to keep them safe.

Only nine people during the course of the pilot were admitted to hospital andsix people were reported for offences, after being found to be fit and well by the CPNs.

The partnership work meant the overwhelming majority of these vulnerable persons got the required support, avoiding lengthy A & E waits. This also meant police officers were returned to front line duties as quickly as possible.