A new partnership between the Trust and West Yorkshire Police is helping support staff and service users on adult mental health inpatient wards at Fieldhead.
The work is aimed at tackling challenging behaviour by people in our care which poses a risk to others in the most appropriate way. For example, police officers will come and talk to a person at the early stages in a pattern of behaviour to stop things escalating.
Tim Mellard, Matron – Acute Inpatient Services, is leading the work: “We look after some of the most unwell people in our area and their care and safety is our top priority. Although incidents of assaults on patients and staff are infrequent, that doesn’t mean that our patients and staff should accept being threatened, assaulted or put at risk. There are instances where we do need help from the police, and where a crime has been committed. Just because someone is in a in-patient mental health facility, it doesn’t always mean that they lack awareness into some of their behaviours. Every case is different. It comes down to whether a person has capacity to make decisions about a particular action.”
Police and Trust staff have been sharing knowledge, information and expertise to deal with this complicated issue better. West Yorkshire Police have delivered training to Trust staff around hate crimes, in return we have supported delivery of mental health awareness opportunities and experiences to the Police. A Police constable has also been seconded as a mental health link for Wakefield to further strengthen relationships.
Tim added: “The extra support from police has made a real difference to our staff and to everyone feeling more safe on our wards. This collaborative approach means that we are able to strike a better balance to keep everyone safe and supported. Our staff also feel more confident in identifying and reporting incidents such as hate crimes.”