- 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.
Winner of the President’s Medal,
the Royal College of Psychiatrists.
Winner of the Mind Digital Media Award
All opinions expressed are my own – they do not represent the views of any organisation.
(c) Michael Brown, 2019
I try to keep this blog up to date, but inevitably over time, amendments to the law as well as court rulings and other findings from inquests and complaints processes mean it is difficult to ensure all the articles and pages remain current. Please ensure you check all legal issues in particular and take appropriate professional advice where necessary.
Government legislation website – http://www.legislation.gov.uk