Mental Health Act

This category contains 23 posts

Mind the gap! – part 1

I’ve tweeted and blogged previously that there are some limited circumstances in which police officers may find themselves without powers to act in a healthcare situation to keep people safe, but without being able to ensure or motivate an NHS response either.   My comments about this have caused some to think I’m advocating an … Continue reading

Should I stay or should I go?

Should the police remain at a place of safety once they have arrived at the location? – to be clear at the outset, I’m referring to the psychiatric place of safety to which most people are removed.  I am not referring to A&E when it used because of additional medical emergency or physical injury – … Continue reading

The Police and the Mental Capacity Act

It is important we understand at the outset: this Mental Capacity Act stuff can cause nightmares for partnership working because of the number of myths which already exist and because the police and many parts of the NHS have had little or no training.  I’m going to do a couple of posts on it – … Continue reading

Where does ‘mental health’ live?

Here’s my theory about why some police forces have historically scratched their foreheads a bit about how to properly own and develop policy and practice on policing and mental health.  I would say at the start however, that the service have really ‘brigaded themselves’ properly on this over the last few years and made real … Continue reading

West Midlands Police

I am delighted to report that the (award winning!) @mentalhealthcop Twitter account by which this blog is distributed is to become official West Midlands Police media next week. The simple reason it has not been official until now was that having spent three years of my career as a policy lead on mental health, I … Continue reading

The Neighbourhood Policing Sergeant

When I was promoted to sergeant, I had to cover 24/7 duties for my area as a ‘response’ sergeant but I was also given a ‘patch’ – or ‘beat 36′ as it was imaginatively called.  With my fellow sergeant we covered this diverse area, which included the ‘village centre’ of a diverse city suburb and … Continue reading

Exclusion criteria

“Exclusion criteria” is my term for those aspects of someone’s presentation which often mean a person detained under s135/6 of the Mental Health Act are denied access to a Place of Safety in a psychiatric setting with a presumption that it will be possible, legal and safe to detain them in police cells.  (Occasionally, a … Continue reading

True Story 3

This week a man went to an A&E department to seek help in crisis.  He is a known mental health service user and had become unwell after 3 weeks of not taking medication – he had run out.  Arriving at A&E at 10am, he was triaged and they rang for the crisis team to come … Continue reading

Is A&E a place of safety?

ANYWHERE can be a Place of Safety under the Mental Health Act as long as the occupier is temporarily willing to receive the patient.  This is stated in s135(6) of the Mental Health Act.  Of course, the Act also declares that hospitals and police stations are places of safety (PoS); and the Code of Practice … Continue reading

Whose responsibility is that?

If one were to stay up late one night, perhaps with your favourite whisky, some Eric Clapton records and a flip chart, with the intention of designing some legislation calculated to cause the maximum amount of ambiguity, frustration and difficulty, you would do well to come up with anything better than s136 Mental Health Act … Continue reading


Michael Brown

Michael Brown