- 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.
- INITIAL ACTION – A&E
- Unless A&E is set up and designated as the main NHS Place of Safety, only remove to A&E if the person presents with a RED FLAG.
- Remain with the patient in A&E – they are not set up to manage the legal detention of the person.
- They provide physical, urgent healthcare connected to RED FLAGS.
- INITIAL ACTION – Place of Safety
- Arrive at an NHS PoS – do PNC / Intelligence checks to understand risk.
- Share that risk information where it is relevant to the NHS keeping themselves safe.
- Require risk information known to the NHS be shared with you.
- Jointly rate each detainee as LOW, MEDIUM or HIGH risk.
- SUBSEQUENT ACTION
- Patients who are LOW RISK – should be left with NHS staff for assessment.
- Patients who are HIGH RISK – should be supported to protect NHS staff and the individual.
- Patients who are MEDIUM RISK – should be subject to agreement between staff over whether the police are needed.
- Some medium risk patients will require police security; others may be known to staff and be safe without police security.
- If in dispute about MEDIUM RISK patients – remain in situ and refer the matter to your supervisors and subsequently to your inspector.
- If the NHS demand that the police remain with LOW RISK patients because they are short-staffed, email your inspector.
- This should be taken up with the MH trust and MH commissioners – it is not right for a range of reasons.
- LEGAL REMINDER
- There is no legal obligation per se, for the police to remain in an NHS place of safety.
- There is a legal obligation on the police to prevent crime / protect life.
- Police leaving an NHS Place of Safety once the patient has arrived:
- It arises from the Royal College of Psychiatrists Standards on s136 (p8).
- Remaining in an NHS PoS may be necessary to prevent crime against NHS staff.
- 68% of all assaults on NHS staff are against mental health professionals.
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.