Mental Health Act Review – Importance of Multi-Agency Collaboration?
The critical role of Multi-Agency working
The Department of Health & Social Care in England have recently published a White Paper, discussing the changes they are proposing to the Mental Health Act, following its review which began back in 2018.
Within the document, there is a section titled ‘Reforming policy and practice around the new act to improve patient experience’ which describes the current and future work the government and the NHS is undertaking to bring about changes, so people have better experiences of care.
Mental Health Professionals working alongside Police
The Government states that “Currently more people experiencing a mental health crisis are taken to hospital by the police than by ambulance”.
We understand the demand on current services, paired with constraints and a lack of resources is resulting in police vehicles and personnel being brought in to help transport patients.
As an experienced organisation who specialises in the transport of mental health patients and those with varying needs, we understand first hand how stressful and traumatic travel can be for a patient with mental health conditions.
The key to preventing this is through ensuring the best possible experience for the patient and providing them with a level of comfort, distraction materials and a team who they feel respected by.
Unfortunately police vehicles do not provide this comfort and are not equipped to make the journey as calm and stress-free as possible.
Multi-Agency collaboration with Mental Health transport
Our work often sees us working alongside organisations including emergency services, healthcare bodies and Approved Mental Health Professionals.
Ensuring that vulnerable patients in the community receive the appropriate care and support is a key focus for all organisations involved and when working in partnership with one another, we are able to achieve this.
Multi-agency working also offers a variety of benefits to the organisations themselves, delivering efficiencies and ensuring the better use of resources, whilst delivering the best possible service to patients in a timely manner to maintain their safety and health.
Through collaboration, there is a greater understanding amongst all parties about who is best placed to deliver what service and depending on the situation, the training, equipment and response time required, the most appropriate party can be deployed.
We are pleased to see that better handovers and the use of police has been highlighted within the paper, with the Government planning to invest to improve capacity and capabilities of ambulance services to meet mental health demand, to avoid the use of police to convey patients.
We hope to see positive changes moving forward and we are pleased to be able to support organisations, including the police, through our professional and expert transport services, to protect the patient and ensure they have better experiences of care.