Bedfordshire triage team help tackle mental health issues

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Bedfordshire’s multi-agency Mental Health Street Triage has been commended at the annual NHS Business Awards.

The team were commended in the NHS Collaboration Award category, which praises collaborative work between the NHS and other public or private sector organisations, to engage the local community in preventative campaigns.

The Mental Health Street Triage is a partnership between Bedfordshire Police, East of England Ambulance Trust (EEAST), East London NHS Foundation Trust, Bedfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group (BCCG) and Luton Clinical Commissioning Group.

The pilot scheme, which has been running for six months, sees a police officer, paramedic and mental health professional team up in one car to respond to mental health crisis calls They cover the whole county, operating from 3pm – 1am, with bases at Police HQ in Kempston and at Luton Police Station.

Chief Inspector Jaki Whittred from Beds Police said: “The team continue to work hard across the county, reducing the demand on emergency services and continues to have huge benefits for patients who receive faster access to the care they need.”

Dr Alvin Low, Chairman of BCCG said: “The excellent partnership work between police, ambulance crews and mental health teams in Bedfordshire is making a positive difference to the lives of people who experience a mental health crisis and the award is very well deserved.”

Lisa Merkitt, from EEAST, said: “The impact we are having on patients is what matters, and in turn, helps reduce the demand on emergency services.”

Robert Labe from Bedford Samaritans said: “Congratulations on behalf of Samaritans who are proud to be associated with the Street Triage project.”