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NHSE warns new policy creates risk for service ‘already under enormous pressure’

NHS England has warned the decision by police forces to respond to far fewer incidents involving people in mental distress could pose ‘risks’ to both patients and a service “already under enormous pressure”. 

National mental health director Claire Murdoch has written to integrated care board leaders and mental health trust CEOs about the possible impact of the “right care, right person” policing model which is being rolled out across England.

In July, policing minister Chris Philp gave all forces the green light to implement the RCRP model. The approach was first trialled in Humberside and involves officers only attending mental health calls where there is a risk to life or serious harm.

Now, in a letter seen by HSJ, Ms Murdoch has admitted the new model is a “major change for services already under enormous pressure” and warns that implementing all of the actions set out in the national partnership agreement may take time between the police and the NHS. This took three years in Humberside, she notes.

Ms Murdoch wrote: “I know you will all be doing your best to make this work, but I am so mindful of the risks to services and people with mental health problems, as I am sure you are too.”

Read full story (paywalled)

Source: HSJ, 15 September 2023


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