- This quick guide is an attempt to “operationalise” some complex issues but you should refer to your own force policy and your supervisors for specific local requirements.
- INTIAL ACTION
- It is a core responsibility of the NHS to convey mental health patients – it may be a police responsibility to support if RAVE risks are involved.
- This includes conveyance after s136, after s135 or someone being sectioned; after someone being recovered AWOL or between mental health facilities.
- If RAVE risks are involved, discuss things – even if briefly – before wading in.
- Always request an ambulance if agreeing to support conveyance.
- If patient’s have been sedated by medical staff before conveyance ABSOLUTELY INSIST upon medical supervision >>> this means a nurse or doctor, not just a paramedic.
- Discuss restraint that involves handcuffs or leg restraints: if the police are being asked to take responsibility for safety, it is ultimately a police decision whether such PPE is used.
- Is the place to which the patient is being removed aware of this and willing to accept?
- Refer disputes around ANY aspect of conveyance to your DUTY SERGEANT wherever time allows.
- SUBSEQUENT ACTION
- Constantly re-assess for RED FLAGS whilst the person is conveyed,
- Remove to A&E if any RED FLAG emerges at any stage.
- LEGAL REMINDERS
- It is a police decision whether to become involved in conveyance in all of the above circumstances apart from s136.
- They are only obliged to do so where there are statutory responsibilities to prevent crime or protect life – RAVE risks
- If s136 is instigated and no NHS conveyance is available, then the police must remove that person to a place of safety.
- Whether handcuffs, leg restraints or other PPE / use of force is utilised is ultimately a police decision.
The Mental Health Cop blog
– won the ConnectedCOPS ‘Top Cop’ Award for leveraging social media in policing.
– won the Digital Media Award from the UK’s leading mental health charity, Mind
– won a World of Mentalists #TWIMAward for the best in mental health blogs
– was highlighted by the Independent Commission on Policing & Mental Health
– was referenced in the UK Parliamentary debate on Policing & Mental Health
– was commended by the Home Affairs Select Committee of the UK Parliament.