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Mental health patients benefit from Street Triage


23 October 2014

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York and Selby have rolled out an innovative service designed to help people who experience a mental health crises.
Funded by the North Yorkshire County Council and City of York Council, Leeds and York Partnership NHS Foundation Trust and North Yorkshire Police have teamed up with local commissioners at NHS Vale of York Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) to produce a mental health Street Triage unit.
Located at York Crisis and Access Service in Bootham Park Hospital, the team will include: 

York and Selby have rolled out an innovative service designed to help people who experience a mental health crises.
Funded by the North Yorkshire County Council and City of York Council, Leeds and York Partnership NHS Foundation Trust and North Yorkshire Police have teamed up with local commissioners at NHS Vale of York Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) to produce a mental health Street Triage unit.
Located at York Crisis and Access Service in Bootham Park Hospital, the team will include: 
Mental health nurses 
Occupational therapists 
Social workers
Health support workers 
They will be on duty with police officers during the busy periods of the day, seven days a week 
Chief Clinical Officer for NHS Vale of York CCG, Dr Mark Hayes, said: “The Street Triage team is just one example of the innovative schemes and services that the CCG is creating by joining forces with key partners and pooling resources. Working together, we are creating a joint vision for future health and social care systems that place people at the centre of responsive and effective services.
"Ultimately, the driver behind this new way of working is the safeguarding of vulnerable people while ensuring they receive the most appropriate level of care in the best setting and I am delighted that this scheme is now off the ground.”
The mental health professionals are able to give telephone advice to the North Yorkshire Police or can be dispatched to the scene of an incident.
Chief Operating Officer at Leeds and York Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, Jill Copeland, described the scheme as a “big step forward” in providing the appropriate mental health care.
The goal of the triage-service is to give people suffering from mental health problems the right kind of care at the right time.
It also aims to reduce the number of people detained under Section 136 of the Mental Health Act.
Deputy Chief Constable of North Yorkshire Police, Tim Madgwick described the service as a “vital intervention”.
He said: “This is excellent news for the York and Selby areas. Not only will the Street Triage scheme provide vital intervention and the most appropriate care for vulnerable people, it will also free up more of our officers' time, enabling them to return to policing their neighbourhoods.
“Over the past year, we have made significant progress with our partners to improve services for people with mental health issues. We are continuing this area of vital work and are working towards launching similar schemes in other parts of North Yorkshire.”
Police and Crime Commissioner for North Yorkshire, Julia Milligan said: "All too often very vulnerable people in mental health crisis can end up in the hands of the police rather than the care of health professionals. This new service will help provide proper support at the very moment when it is most needed. It will also help prevent situations escalating to the point where someone has to be detained by the police under the mental health act. I am delighted that this new service is now up and running."
The Street Triage system is already showing considerable success.
A similar service in Scaborough, which began March 2014, has shown a significant reduction in number of mental health patients taken into police custody.
In Leeds a pilot study using a similar initiative has already shown positive results, with a 22% decrease in number of people detained under Section 136.

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