Greater Manchester on course to be gold standard for mental health crisis care

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Greater Manchester’s pioneering approach to tackling mental ill health is on track to reduce reoffending, improve the wellbeing of local people and keep vulnerable people out of the criminal justice system.
Lord Keith Bradley’s independent review of crisis care and criminal justice in Greater Manchester is a positive snapshot of the work across Greater Manchester to support people suffering a mental health crisis while reducing demand on emergency services – but makes clear that more work needs to be done.

Commissioned by Mayor and Police and Crime Commissioner Tony Lloyd, Lord Bradley’s report – ‘Someone’s There’ – looks at what progress has been made since police, health, local authorities, voluntary organisations and other agencies signed up to the crisis care concordat in 2014, and suggests areas of improvement and further development.

It praises the new integrated healthcare and liaison and diversion service which is currently being embedded in custody suites, courts and in the community, and also the rollout of the control room triage scheme which will give police officers 24 hour telephone contact to specialist mental health teams, when it goes live in the autumn.

Lord Keith Bradley said: “It’s clear that there is a strong ambition from all agencies in Greater Manchester to work together and support vulnerable people. My report gives a snapshot of the investment and improvements that have been put in place to ensure people suffering a mental health crisis get the right help, at the right time, from the right people.

“The new liaison and diversion service for example, if embedded consistently across GM, has the potential to significantly reduce the number of vulnerable people needlessly coming into contact with the criminal justice system and will contribute to improving the mental wellbeing of local people.

“From what I have seen in Greater Manchester, they are on course to be the gold standard for crisis care, but there is always more to be done. I hope my report helps further develop Greater Manchester’s approach to this issue, supporting more people in a time of crisis.”

Lord Bradley makes a number of recommendations, including:

· Ensure that Greater Manchester maximises the opportunity to access new central government funding for children and young people’s mental health.

· Embed the new liaison and diversion and healthcare service across Greater Manchester, including maintaining and enhancing the service in custody over the next 12 months, ensuring the service is available to those who attend custody voluntarily, and looking at how it can be incorporated into the work with women offenders.

· Establishment of a Section 136 suite at Manchester Royal Infirmary, while also developing plans for an expanded crisis care suite which will provide enhanced support and a place of safety for people in crisis.

· Investment in technology to ensure better sharing of information between practitioners and GMP.

· Police officers and mental health practitioners should be given joint training on mental wellbeing and their role in delivering crisis care and support.

· Continued and strengthened leadership and governance, including for the incoming Deputy Mayor for Police and Crime to represent the criminal justice system within health and social care governance, while also overseeing strategy development around partnership between criminal justice and mental health, building on the work of the current Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner.
Greater Manchester Mayor and Police and Crime Commissioner Tony Lloyd said: “I want to thank Lord Bradley for his independent insight and expertise. His positive findings instil confidence that we are on the right track to ensuring every person suffering a mental health crisis gets the help and support they need. We will now consider Lord Bradley’s recommendations and see how they can be taken forward.”