Concerted efforts to improve the care for people with mental health issues in Derbyshire took another step forward this week at a multi-agency event hosted by Police and Crime Commissioner Alan Charles.
A wide range of leaders and people at the heart of mental health care from across the county signed the Department of Health’s Crisis Care Concordat at the summit in a bid to safeguard – and improve – the care and wellbeing of vulnerable people.
Mr Charles welcomed all the contributions and discussions, which included enthusiastic feed-back about the current street triage pilot scheme. “Everyone agreed that this pilot scheme is already having a big and positive impact,” he said.
“I am keen for us all to do more to help people in crisis so that they get the right help at the right time and in the right place. That is what this summit was about – building on our early work and formalising our goals for safeguarding vulnerable people.”
He was “very pleased to see so many attending the event, with numbers the best yet at any of my conferences. This fact alone points to the seriousness with which we are approaching our goals,” he said.
During the event, a number of themes were highlighted by specialists and professionals. These ranged from the sharing of statistics with the Criminal Justice System regarding health needs to more training on mental health issues for magistrates and probation officers. Other themes focused on more information sharing on regional evaluations with feedback from service users; the value of screening for early recognition of Learning Disability and related needs; and the difficulties of meeting additional responsibilities under the Care Act at a time of budget cuts.
There were also calls for early intervention to prevent what could be a lifetime cost of criminal activity, and efforts to counteract the feelings of stigma endured by many sufferers.
It was decided at the end of the day that the themes presented to the summit should be studied in greater depth by a steering group. “These are complex issues which need to be carefully evaluated to ensure that we move forward in the best way possible,” the Commissioner said.
The Concordat aims to promote access to support before crisis point is reached, provide urgent and emergency access to crisis care, and ensure quality of treatment and care when in crisis followed by promotion of recovery and staying well.