Police cell based mental health experts pilot scheme
By Charlotte Fantelli
Stoke-on-Trent police custody suite are piloting an initiative that sees experts in mental illness on hand to assess poeple coming into custody and, if needed, assisting them with any mental health concerns.
NHS Combined Healthcare's award-winning Criminal Justice Mental Health Team, are working as part of a two-year Department of Health pilot to help any offenders with a mental health condition.
We are pleased that this pilot is in place as we have long seen the effects of poor offender care when it comes to mental illness, please see our report on Mental Health in Prison
It is hoped that not only will these people be getting the help they need at the point of entering the judicial system, but that it may also help prevent them commiting further crime, due to not having access to appropriate care.
I would at this point like to point out the fantastic reporting of this story by the 'thisisstaffordshire' website that rightly states: 'Offences are rarely committed as a direct result of mental illness' a statement very realistic, but one not often made clear in many media reports of a similar nature.
In the same report, team leader Kenny Laing says: "This pilot will measure the benefits of ensuring that people arrested by the police with mental health problems get quick access to the help they need. "The aim is to reduce re-offending rates and improve the experience of patients and police officers."
We welcome this initiative and look forward to reporting the results of the pilot.