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09 November 2016
A project to make sure patients experiencing a mental health crisis have rapid access to care has received £200,000 to develop and deploy two new specialist vehicles
The Mental Health Street Triage is a partnership between the East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust (EEAST), Bedfordshire Police, East London NHS Foundation Trust, Bedfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group and Luton Clinical Commissioning Group The service started in June and is a team consisting of a paramedic, police officer and mental health professional responding to mental health calls across Bedfordshire The team attends incidents where there is an immediate threat to life – someone threatening to self-harm – or where a third party has called the police or ambulance and expressed concern for someone
Following the launch, feedback from patients identified that they would prefer a response from the team in a vehicle that does not look like a police or ambulance response car At the same time the partnership wanted to develop a vehicle that provided space and privacy for a physical assessment to be made by the paramedic and a mental health assessment to be made by the nurse
Simon King, senior locality manager at EEAST, said, “Our patients told us what would make the service better and I am delighted that we have secured this funding to procure two new vehicles based on their feedback It will also ensure that the Mental Health Street Triage team can provide a rapid response to people in a crisis in modern purpose built vehicles and transport them in comfort if required to do so”
Simon continued, “This initiative is a great example of partnership working; getting a whole range of organisations together to help improve lives and offer better care, protection and treatment”
Chief Inspector Jaki Whittred, from Bedfordshire Police, said “I’m delighted that the panel have recognised how important the Mental Health Street Triage partnership is in delivering the right help to people in mental health crisis Bedfordshire Police are committed to working with our health colleagues to ensure that we continue to develop and sustain our street triage scheme and this funding award will really assist us in doing so”.