The Calderdale and Kirklees police liaison scheme has been nominated for an HSJ award 2016, recognising the scheme for its innovation in mental health and the way that it has improved experiences of service users in crisis.
The HSJ awards celebrate the finest achievements in the NHS and are seen as the most sought after accolade in British healthcare, being the biggest awards scheme of its kind in the world.
The police liaison scheme is run in Kirklees and Calderdale and involves mental health nurses working alongside officers at Halifax and Huddersfield police stations to recognise the signs of mental illness. This ensures fewer people with mental health conditions are placed on Section 136 of the Mental Health Act, held in a cell or admitted to A&E when there are more appropriate ways of providing health care for them. The scheme also enables practitioners to visit victims and witnesses at home and support police officers at the scene of an incident.
Karen Taylor, district director for Calderdale and Kirklees said: “This scheme has demonstrated excellent results and is a real testament to the hard work and commitment of our staff, who ensure that people in crisis are dealt with in the right place and by the right people. When people come into contact with the police they can be at their most vulnerable and we need to carefully consider what mental health needs they may have. Our team works closely with the police to make sure that the most appropriate treatment is available in a timely way leading to better outcomes and an improved experience for service users and their families.
I am delighted that the police liaison scheme has been nomination for a HSJ award and that the crisis service we provide has been recognised as a model of national good practise.”
This innovative scheme has led to an improved experience of service users in crisis. Practitioners are able to work with the police to undertake timely mental health assessments and offer appropriate intervention at the point of crisis, including making referrals to the appropriate pathway.
The police liaison scheme is supported by the clinical commissioning groups in Calderdale and Kirklees and has had its funding extended, demonstrating how much of an impact the scheme has had in improving mental health services.