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Service evaluation of the South Wales police control room mental health triage model: outcomes achieved, lessons learned and next steps

Laura Broome Orcid Logo, Jason Davies Orcid Logo, Mark Lewis

The Journal of Forensic Practice, Volume: 24, Issue: 2

Swansea University Authors: Laura Broome Orcid Logo, Jason Davies Orcid Logo

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Abstract

Purpose – South Wales Police Mental Health (MH) Triage service was initiated to meet the WelshGovernment MH priority of early intervention to prevent MH crisis. Community Psychiatric Nurses, based in the control-room, provide advice to police and control room staff on themanagement ofMH-related inci...

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Published in: The Journal of Forensic Practice
ISSN: 2050-8794
Published: Emerald 2022
Online Access: Check full text

URI: https://cronfa.swan.ac.uk/Record/cronfa59491
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Abstract: Purpose – South Wales Police Mental Health (MH) Triage service was initiated to meet the WelshGovernment MH priority of early intervention to prevent MH crisis. Community Psychiatric Nurses, based in the control-room, provide advice to police and control room staff on themanagement ofMH-related incidents. The purpose of this paper is to evaluate the first 12months of operation (January-December 2019).Design/methodology/approach – Service evaluation of the first 12 months of operation(January–December 2019). Data were analysed in relation to: MH incidents; repeat callers; Section (S) 136 use/assessment outcomes. Police, health staff and triage service users were interviewed andsurveyed to capture their opinions of the service.Findings – Policing areas with high engagement in triage saw reductions in S136 use and estimatedopportunity costs saving. Triage was considered a valuable service that promoted cross agencycollaborations. De-escalation in cases of mental distress was considered a strength. Access to follow-on services was identified as a challenge.Practical implications – Triage enables a multi-agency response in the management of MH-relatedincidents. Improving trust between services, with skilled health professionals supporting police decision making in real time.Originality/value – There is a gap in the research on the impact of police-related MH triage modelsbeyond the use of S136. This project evaluated the quality of the service, its design and the relationship between health, police and partner agencies during the triage process. Multi-agency assessment of follow-up is needed tomeasure the long-termimpact on services and users.
Keywords: Police triage, mental health, S136 use, police control room, mental health triage, service evaluation
College: College of Human and Health Sciences
Funders: Police and Crime Commissioner for South Wales
Issue: 2