Mental health response partnership - which started in Oldham - nominated for NHS award

Date published: 13 July 2022

The joint mental health service partnership between Greater Manchester Police, the North West Ambulance Service (NWAS) and the Pennine Care NHS Foundation Trust has won a NHS North West Parliamentary Award and was nominated for a national NHS Parliamentary Award.

The pilot project, which started in Oldham when a mental health clinician and a police officer attended incidents jointly where a person was experiencing a mental health crisis, was launched in January 2022 and now also runs across Bury, Rochdale, Stockport and Tameside.

The combined response to incidents means that those experiencing mental distress can gain vital support and quicker access to the services they need.

The clinician can assess patients on the scene to ensure every appropriate community-based care option is considered, so that hospital is a last resort and only for those who really need it.

The service saw a 75% reduction in time spent by officers at an incident in Tameside and Oldham in February 2022.

Between February and May, 2022, 155 people - who would likely have been admitted to a 136 suite or taken to A&E - instead received mental health support and signposting to appropriate services while the pilot was in operation across Oldham, Tameside and Bury between January-May, 2022.

The scheme’s success saw the team behind the project being awarded the NHS North West Parliamentary Award, which recognises the outstanding contribution of staff and volunteers across the health and care sector, for the ‘excellence in mental health’ category.

The team also attended the national awards last week (Wednesday, July 6), after being nominated under the same category.

Detective Chief Inspector Jane Curran, GMP’s Strategic Lead for Mental Health, said: “It is great that the service has been recognised by these awards and that the partnership work is having a positive impact across local communities in Greater Manchester.

“I would like to thank our GMP officers and partners involved in setting up, running, and working within the schemes across Greater Manchester.

"The service not only means that officer hours are saved, with less time spent at these incidents, but most importantly means that members of the public who need mental health support are getting the right care from the right people, in a familiar environment, often supported by family or friends.”

Jim McMahon, MP for Oldham West and Royton, who nominated the scheme for the award, said: “I was delighted to put forward the Mental Health Rapid Response Service for the Excellence in Mental Health Care Award at the NHS Parliamentary Award.

“Ensuring those going through a mental health crisis receive the very best support from the right places is key, and I was really grateful to hear that patients felt valued, listened to and not judged by the team.

“The impact of covid on people’s mental health cannot be overstated, pilot schemes like this one, treating people with the dignity and respect they deserve whilst in crisis, are so important.”

Anyone who needs mental health advice or support can contact the Mental Health Services across Greater Manchester:

For the Oldham, Tameside, Bury, Rochdale and Stockport area, contact the Pennine Care NHS 24/7 helpline on 0800 014 9995

For the Manchester, Salford, Bolton, Wigan and Trafford area, contact the Greater Manchester Police Health (GMMH) 24/7 helpline on 0800 953 0285

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