Quick Guide – Should I Stay or Should I Go?

  • 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.

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The Mental Health Cop blog

Badgewon 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

ccawards2013 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.

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3 thoughts on “Quick Guide – Should I Stay or Should I Go?

  1. Sorry if showing my ignorance, but fairly sure I may be red flagged. What exactly is red flagged and how does it work?

  2. Yet again you imply the mentally ill are dangerous to others.
    If 68% of all assaults on NHS staff are against MH (un)professionals, well, that is probably because they are incompetent and abusive. I wonder how many of those ‘assaults’ were in fact reactions by an ill and terrified
    E.g. I was verbally abused for days deliberately provoking me to get a reaction (they do this) and threatened with restraint, was not and never have been violent, just tried to leave the situation and was restrained. I discovered that there is a vicious lie in my notes about my having hit a member of staff to justify the restraint – THIS DID NOT HAPPEN.

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