Mental health workers in Tameside have joined forces with the police to cut the number of people with mental illnesses being detained in police cells.
New systems have been set up to provide 24 hour advice to police officers and paramedics in Tameside on the best place to take patients during incidents.
The new Street Triage service, run by Pennine Care in partnership with Greater Manchester Police will be put into actionand it is hoped that it will cut the number of people detained in custody under the Mental Health Act.
The scheme proved a success during a pilot last spring and has been commissioned until March next year.
Karen Maneely, adults mental health service manager for Pennine Care, said: “Police officers out in our communities frequently come into contact with vulnerable people who may require mental health care and support.
“This triage scheme will not only provide a helpline and support for officers on the ground, it will make sure individuals are made known to the local mental health services and receive the best care for their needs.”
Police officers in Tameside deal with up to 140 incidents a month involving a person with a mental health issue. A mental health worker will now be available 24 hours a day to carry out assessments and give advice on whether the person needs help from mental health, social care or other support.
Melita Worswick, GMP’s chief inspector for Tameside, said: “This helpline will be invaluable to my officers. We often deal with people at their most vulnerable and to be able to make joint decisions about how to deal with a situation will only increase the options available to the police. Allowing them to make a more informed decision will ensure the best outcome for everyone involved.”
Dr Tina Greenhough, mental health lead at Tameside and Glossop Clinical Commissioning Group, which commissioned the service, said: “Street Triage is an important addition to our crisis support.”