A scheme to help improve treatment of mental health patients by sending nurses on patrol with police is to be piloted in Derbyshire.
The street triage scheme sees mental health nurses accompany officers, to help people with mental health problems that are sometimes detained in the wrong environment.
It was revealed today (June 27) that Derbyshire will join North Yorkshire, Devon and Cornwall and Sussex as the first areas to trial the scheme, which is funded by the Department of Health and backed by the Home Office.
Assistant chief constable of Derbyshire Police, Dee Collins said: “We are pleased Derbyshire Constabulary has been asked to take part in this pilot.
“The planning and rollout of the scheme is in the early stages but we are keen to explore the options and look forward to working with our partners in the Department of Health.
“We hope the scheme will ensure people with mental health issues coming into contact with the emergency services are offered the most appropriate care.”
Derbyshire Police were unable to give details of when the pilot will begin.
Last month, the Home Secretary announced that the Department of Health would be working with the Home Office to pilot ‘street triage’ with the police this year. This is part of a wider Department of Health and Home Office work plan on policing and mental health.
The government’s care and support minister, Norman Lamb, said: “We are launching these pilots to make sure that people with mental health issues get the right care, at the right time and in the right place.
“We know the barriers often lie at the crossroads between police and health services. That is why we are working with the Home Office and leaders of the police to look at how we can improve services for the very vulnerable people involved.”
The Department of Health has secured further funding to extend this pilot scheme to more police forces and a number of further areas have already expressed an interest. More announcements are planned in the near future.