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CCG links with police to improve mental health care


1 October 2013

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One clinical commissioning group is teaming up with police to prevent people suffering mental illness being “unnecessarily arrested”. 
Staffordshire Police were called out over 15,000 times for incidents involving people with mental health problems. 
A pilot scheme will provide officers with advice and support. Stoke-On-Trent CCG is also developing a training programme. 
Next month a separate pilot scheme will give police officers access to a mental health practitioner. 

One clinical commissioning group is teaming up with police to prevent people suffering mental illness being “unnecessarily arrested”. 
Staffordshire Police were called out over 15,000 times for incidents involving people with mental health problems. 
A pilot scheme will provide officers with advice and support. Stoke-On-Trent CCG is also developing a training programme. 
Next month a separate pilot scheme will give police officers access to a mental health practitioner. 
A CCG spokesman said: "An on-going project with Staffordshire Police aims to ensure that we are working efficiently together to ensure that people with mental illness, or exhibiting mental health symptoms, receive the right intervention from the right professional at the right time.
"A scheme is being piloted which enables the police to gain direct advice and support from a specialist team when they come into contact with people with mental health problems.
"There is also a proposal to give police access to a mental health practitioner to provide further support for service users to manage their condition/situation."
Staffordshire Police and Crime Commissioner, Matthew Ellis, has already appointed a mental health programme manager.
Ellis said: "A surprising amount of hours were wasted when mental health professionals were not available and police ended up sitting with an individual and watching them for up to nine hours, which is the record so far.
"We need to stop individuals becoming criminalised because they have got an illness. We can also dramatically reduce the amount of hours police spend dealing with mental health issues.
"If there is no movement on this I'm going to be shouting out that society is being let down."

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