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People in crises to receive better support following signing of Mental Health Concordat

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Agencies came together to sign the crisis care concordat.

Police and Crime Commissioner Sue Mountstevens has joined local organisations in signing local agreements focusing on improving care for people experiencing mental health crises.

The organisations who have signed the agreements either work directly with people who have mental health conditions, commission services or are in a position to help people find a suitable path into treatment and support. In signing the agreements, or Crisis Care Concordats, they have committed to a series of principles which will help make sure that people in crisis because of a mental health condition are kept safe. This includes; 

  • Better partnership working and earlier intervention to prevent crises occurring in the first place
  • Getting the right care, at the right time and from the right people to get the best outcome for an individual
  • Sharing information to help frontline staff respond to people in crisis
  • Putting in place, reviewing and updating action plans for local areas.

On Wednesday December 17th, Sue Mountstevens signed the Crisis Care Concordats alongside Acting Chief Constable John Long and representatives from the NHS Clinical Commissioning Groups of South Gloucestershire, Bristol and North Somerset as well as the Great Western Ambulance Service.

Speaking after the signing, PCC Sue Mountstevens said: “It’s important that physical and mental health are taken equally seriously and this agreement is another important step towards embedding that across all our services. If you injure yourself you know you can easily get treatment and there should be the same expectation for people with mental health conditions.

“I’m proud to have signed this concordat and pleased to be able to do it alongside other agencies that will play a crucial role in helping make sure it’s principles are realised. In all areas of policing – from those on the frontline through to the commissioning of new services - we support people with mental health conditions. We’re in a position to make a real difference.”

Acting Chief Constable John Long said: "“People experiencing mental health issues need to know that they can rely on the police and the service we provide. We are dedicated to working with partner agencies to share information and skills in order to help support those who need it.

“This concordat further illustrates our commitment to continue this support.”

Representatives from the three clinical commissioning groups added: “The Clinical Commissioning Groups are pleased to be working in partnership with the Police, Ambulance Service, Local Authority, Mental Health providers and other key organisations to support a programme of work as part of the Crisis Care Concordat to improve crisis care for people with mental health needs in the area.  Whilst each organisation has been committed to high quality provision of support and care for people with mental health needs, the Concordat has brought organisations together in a more co-ordinated way to work more collaboratively towards the same goals and principles.  An action plan has been developed based on locally identified priorities.  This will allow development of services across organisational boundaries to ensure that the needs of people with mental health problems can be met, regardless of which service they first come into contact with, and that the response they get is from the right people, at the right time, in the right place."

Care and Support Minister, Norman Lamb, said: "Improving mental health crisis care is a major priority and our Crisis Care Concordat is helping make sure people in distress get the urgent, compassionate care they need.
 
“I’d like to congratulate the Avon agencies for signing their declaration and strongly urge others to follow suit. Better, more consistent and more collaborative care for people in crisis will not only help those living through their darkest hours to recover, it can also save lives. I want to make sure we cover the whole country by the end of the year so that we rapidly spread best practice.”

To find out more about the Crisis Care Concordat – and read about exactly what your local services are signing up to – please visit: http://www.crisiscareconcordat.org.uk/

Posted on Friday 19th December 2014
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