Published on: 17th October 2022

Our award-winning mental health pilot has received funding until March 2023 and has launched a four-week trial to support young people in Bury.

The mental health joint response service is run by us (Pennine Care) and Greater Manchester Police (GMP) in the boroughs of Bury, Rochdale, Oldham, Stockport, and Tameside.

CAMHS joint response colleagues with a police car outside the Irwell Unit at Fairfield General HospitalIt involves a mental health practitioner and police officer jointly attending mental health crisis call outs to provide the right support, in the right place. The practitioner assesses their needs and considers every appropriate community-based care option, so that being taken to A&E, or a secure section 136 suite (place of safety) are a last resort for those who really need it.

Since launching in January 2022, the teams have supported over 1,300 people across the five boroughs.

Up to now, the service has only been available to adults over 18. After bringing in expertise from our child and adolescent mental health service (CAMHS) practitioners, a four-week pilot has been launched in Bury to extend the service to people of all ages.

A CAMHS practitioner is joining their adult mental health and police colleagues in the car to support people in crisis aged under 16 years. If successful, the pilot will be rolled out across the other boroughs.

Thanks to the services’ huge success and positive feedback, funding has now been secured until 31 March 2023. And conversations are underway about a long-term plan.

Sam Noble is a Bury clinical service manager for Pennine Care, who has supported around 15 shifts with the service. She said: “I find it really rewarding to work with police colleagues to make a positive difference.

“It’s clear there are young people out there who could benefit from our help, but their needs are very different to adults. It’s been fantastic to work with our expert child and adolescent colleagues to ensure we can safely support people of all ages in Bury.

Bev Gerrard, CAMHS operational manager from Pennine Care, added: “We’re really excited to be involved in the joint response service helping young people in crisis.

“This is just one of the improvements within our huge service transformation programme for people of all ages. I’m pleased it’s being funded until next March and hopeful we can secure its long-term future. This will help us keep people out of hospital and at home, which is the best place for most.”

Sam Goldie, Bury neighbourhood and partnership chief inspector for Greater Manchester Police, said: “People experiencing a mental health crisis is becoming more prevalent in our communities, so it’s really positive to be working with our specialist partners.

“We’re all on the same page and aligned with the same perspectives. The more we work together the more we can learn from each other, meaning we can better support the recovery of people in crisis.”

In addition to being crowned the North West champion of the NHS Parliamentary Awards in June 2022, the service has also been chosen as a finalist in the Pennine Care People Awards 2022, in the category of brilliant partnership. The overall winner will be announced on 1 December 2022.

People of any age who need mental health advice or support can phone our 24/7 helpline on 0800 014 9995.