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Frontline raise alarm over mental health call-outs

Anonanon (01/08/22 @ 13:04)

A bold move by Bedfordshire,but needed in reality to jolt the NHS and associated trusts into reviewing its resourcing and staffing of its MH services. We all know that police are the only ones that get pilloried when dealing with these out of hours calls and they go wrong.

Captainover (01/08/22 @ 13:09)

Simply refuse to go and tell them to call and ambulance. It’s their area of responsibility not the police

A Nony Mouse (01/08/22 @ 15:36)

FFS we have been saying this for year so why has the government ignored us and let the situation carry on. The cynic in me thinks its because the NHS and social services can't be criticised whereas its always open season on the police.

Softly Softly (01/08/22 @ 17:25)

I'll not say police time is a waste when responding to human suffering, but it is time that specific bodies, i.e. GP's, NHS Mental Health and Social Services who are responsible for providing such support were scrutinised to see why they do not, or perhaps will not fulfil their statutory obligations. It was no surprise to read recently of the NHS (Governments Sacred Cow) spending shedloads of money recruiting Diversity and Inclusivity Managers -money that ought to be spent on patient care. In fairness however police Forces also waste such money on 'hangers on' who bring absolutely nothing to the table.

retired brief (01/08/22 @ 20:01)

This is the nub of the problem facing operational police officers who are not trained to deal with mental health cases. Yet are called to deal with the mentally ill, usually drugged and or drunk, who have the strength of 10 men and are impervious to pain or persuasion. Their behaviour becomes so extreme that extreme violence may have to be used by the police officers, including tazers, to protect themselves and the public from serious ham and even death. That is when the IOPC and the 'we will not tolerate' brigade steps in a said police officers and their families are thrown on the scrap heap. It is too easy for the other agencies to let this shambles carry on, passing the responsibility and economic cost of such cases onto untrained police officers to the detriment of the officers own mental health in the long term. The results of which we see in regular reports on this site regarding alleged gross misconduct hearings and the high level of suicides in the police.

Anon (01/08/22 @ 22:04)

Until there are 24/7 mental health response teams providing cover from local NHS trusts then things are unlikely to improve. NHS Chief Executives know only too well that policing is mopping up demand but they're more than happy as it reduces their costs and obligation to provide a functioning service. The Bedfordshire approach is a start, however this needs to be driven centrally by NPCC, The Federation and the national representative body for PCC's. This untenable situation has gone on for far too long.

Jensen2021 (01/08/22 @ 23:42)

The NHS employ nearly a million and a half people. The councils (which will include social services) employ hundreds of thousands. So why are the police mopping up after them, when it’s not their job, with far less people and their own broad remit of what they deal with? Then, if that wasn’t enough, the police don’t even get thanked for it, they get derided by journalists and activist groups for simply being involved. No actual criticism of the organisations whose job it is to deal with MH etc. I’m yet to see a journalist robustly challenge the NHS over this. We all know what the hysterical response would be if police started asking the NHS to their job for them. It’s also tiring hearing ‘the underfunded and under resourced mantra from those agencies, that’s not the police’s problem. The police are busy too, but they never say, ‘a dangerous driver? Sorry the team are busy, call a social worker.’

Captainover (02/08/22 @ 06:06)

I would also start billing social services and care homes when we have to spend hours looking for their kids that they supposedly have care of. They would soon start keeping proper tabs on them.

paul webb (02/08/22 @ 08:58)

Well done Bedfordshire. Then the PCC was a special so he knows what the impact of the huge increase in mental health call outs do to operational officers. It would be refreshing to see the spineless NPCC APCC get its act together and start to charge all the local NHS trusts. Plus the social services for doing their job and looking after children in their care. Sadly the MSM is so anti police at present we will be on a hiding to nothing in the media. However the powers that be should have the courage to deal with the 9-5 ESSO support services firmly and bill them for their failure to do their job.

I am Anon (02/08/22 @ 11:02)

Section 136 gives the police the power to remove a person from a public place, when they appear to be suffering from a mental disorder, to a place of safety. I know of an incident where a 'patient' was taken to a local mental health facility. Upon arrival staff said they had no room and a booking should have been made. Once the secure door was open, patient placed inside and despite the irate staff, police go back to policing.

paul webb (02/08/22 @ 11:44)

I tried to do that once. I dropped the person off in the reception of a very large mental health hospital and made a sharp exit. I had not even got out off the grounds before I got called back by the control room as the hospital point blank refused to deal with the mentally ill person. So queue watching them in the cells for the next 6 hours.

retired brief (02/08/22 @ 16:28)

@paul webb I had the reverse once when a patient walked out of the local mental health hospital in her night dress one afternoon smoking a packet of cigarrettes. It was not long before we were called to deal with her because she was being problematical in a local shop. We took her to the local police station, which was a small community one very close to the mental hospital, and telephoned the hospital for them to come and collect her. A short while later, a rather officious female nurse came in a car from the hospital to take the patient back. The patient refused and the nurse told us that she could not force the patient to go back and informed us the a police station was a place of safety for such people and the patient was now the problem of the police. I obviously disagreed with her and she asked to use our telephone (pre mobile days)to ring her supervisor to tell us the really was our problem. Took the nurse to the small office so she could use the phone to ring her hospital but did not tell her you had to dial 9 to get an outside number. While the nurse was trying to use the phone, myself and another officer picked up the patient who was sitting on a chair in reception, smoking the filter tip of a cigarette, by the elbows and carried her out to the nurses car still in the sitting position smoking the filter tip. Placed her in the back seat of the car and then went back to the office and told the nurse that the patient wanted to go back to the hospital and was in her car awaiting her lift back. Rather nonplussed nurse drove off with the filter tip smoker neither of them to be seen again. Wonder how our woke degree entrants would handle that one these days?

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