Last Friday (March, 17) saw the first governance meeting of a new coalition, which began work in October last year to map out the pathway for people in crisis. Twenty-seven agencies, spanning police, ambulance, local government and health across Avon and Wiltshire, came together to consider the pathway and discuss how they might work together to improve the journey and experience for people in mental health crisis detained under section 136.
Sue Mountstevens, Police and Crime Commissioner for Avon and Somerset, and Angus Macpherson, Police and Crime Commissioner for Wiltshire, were encouraged by the positive progress made in understanding what the complex journey for someone detained under section 136 currently looks and feels like.
The PCC’s said: “Having listened to the views of staff involved at all stages of the journey, and people themselves who’ve experienced it, including children, we all agreed at our meeting that we must and can do better. We’re all in the same position; austerity has impacted on all of us so we have a shared ambition to be as efficient and effective as we can in helping people in crisis and delivering compassionate services.”
A detailed piece of work to understand and map the journey for people detained under section 136, from the very first contact, has provided strong foundations for moving forward. The next step is to test the rigour of the process so far, and prepare for the implementation of a more efficient Avon and Wiltshire-wide model - a single programme spanning the entire area.
Those present at the meeting agreed that doing nothing is not an option; there was great support for the direction of travel so far and all agreed that changes in the imminent new Police and Crime Act create an extra catalyst for change and improvement.
There was widespread recognition at the meeting for the progress and momentum so far. Speaking on behalf of all agencies there, the PCC’s said: “We’ve listened to many voices – professionals and people who’ve experienced the section 136 journey – and we’d like to say thank you, on behalf of all the agencies, for their investment of time, commitment and energy.”
Posted on Monday 20th March 2017