Mental Health Street Triage launched in Tameside

Street Triage

Mental health professionals and police officers are joining forces in Tameside to help reduce the number of people detained in custody under the Mental Health Act (MHA).

The Street Triage service, being run by Pennine Care NHS Foundation Trust in partnership with Greater Manchester Police, will provide 24/7 advice and support for incidents attended by the officers and paramedics, where an individual has a mental illness.

Tameside police deal with approximately 120-140 incidents per month that involve some level of mental health issue. Ordinarily, officers would make an assessment themselves but under the scheme, when police attend an incident and believe that an individual involved has a mental illness, they will contact the Street Triage. A mental health practitioner will carry out a comprehensive assessment to understand whether the person needs help from mental health, social care or other support services.

The aim is to reduce the number of people who are detained under Section 136 of the MHA, ensuring those who do need care and treatment receive the right support quickly.

Karen Maneely, Adults Mental Health Service Manager for Pennine Care said: “Police officers out in our communities frequently come into contact with vulnerable people who may require mental health care and support. This triage scheme will not only provide a helpline and support for officers on the ground, it will make sure individuals are made known to the local mental health services and receive the best care for their needs.”

Melita Worswick, Tameside Chief Inspector, said: “This helpline and subsequent support provided by Pennine Care will be invaluable to my police officers. We often deal with people at their most vulnerable and to be able to make joint decisions about how best to deal with a situation will only increase the options available to the police. Allowing them to make a more informed decision will ensure the best outcome for everyone involved.”

Dr Tina Greenhough, Mental Health Clinical Lead for Tameside and Glossop CCG supported the development and said: “Street Triage is an important addition to our crisis support and will ensure our residents and the police can access mental health expertise at times of distress.”

The project is being driven by the local strategic police partnership meeting, established to improve relationships between health services and the police.

Pennine Care NHS Foundation Trust is a provider of community and mental health services. It currently delivers the Street Triage scheme across Oldham, Bury, Rochdale and Tameside and Glossop.