Right Care Right Person – police adopt new national model re specialist care for health incidents
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Today (26 July) Leicestershire Police is joining all forces in the UK to adopt the Right Care Right Person national partnership.
The agreement will be signed by police forces across England and Wales will begin rolling out a new approach to dealing with health incidents where policing is not always the best agency to respond.
Chief Constable Rob Nixon has already written to partners in Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland to make them aware of the agreement and that the force will be working closely with them to improve the response to mental health incidents.
While some mental health incidents do require police attendance, there are a significant number which involve no safety risk or crime.
The new approach will mean police stop attending a lot of health incidents, unless there is a significant safety risk or crime being committed, and instead refer these to the appropriate partner agency. Estimates show that implementing the principles of Right Care Right Person could save around one million police officer hours each year.
Chief Constable Rob Nixon, said: "I want to work closely with our partners to improve the response we have to mental health incidents. In order to effectively police Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland we need to work together to provide the right care and right person is available to those in need.
“One way we can improve is to look at how many hours officers spend waiting with patients in hospital, attending incidents where someone really needs an ambulance, or doing welfare checks for individuals already under the care of a health agency. We are in discussions already on how this would look for our area and are working together to see how we can make improvements.”
Chief Constable Andy Marsh, CEO at the College of Policing, said: “The public want police catching criminals and protecting them from harm. Attending mental health calls is not always appropriate and these changes will strike a better balance so that the public receives the service they want.
“Police are not trained mental health professionals and the new approach will triage incoming calls to police so that the public receives the best response. The national agreement will offer support and guidance to call handlers when managing mental health, concerns for welfare and missing persons.”
Notes to editors:
The Right Care Right Person approach is based on a model developed by Humberside Police in 2021 which has also been implemented by other forces including Lancashire Police, South Yorkshire Police and North Yorkshire Police.
Police forces across England and Wales will begin implementing Right Care Right Person following the toolkit produced by the College of Policing and National Police Chiefs’ Council. Each force will develop a bespoke implementation plan and work with local partner agencies to embed the approach.
If all forces in England realised time savings similar to those reported by Humberside police, this could save around one million hours of police officer time per year. There is currently no standard measurement for estimating police officer time spent on mental health incidents. This figure is an estimate using local population figures as a proxy for potential mental health demand to calculate the overall officer hours saved for England assuming the number of Humberside officer hours saved (1,441 per month) was achieved elsewhere. These monthly officer hours saved represented reduced deployment to concern for safety and mental health incidents reported by Humberside Police.
There were almost 37,000 individuals detained by police in England and Wales under Section 136 in 2021/22.
Use of the Section 136 has increased by 10% in the last four years.
2021: 4.3 million referrals to NHS mental health services - an increase from approximately 3.8 million referrals in the years 2019 and 2020.