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NHS Confederation - Mental Health Network comments on use of police custody facilities as places of safety

Paddy Cooney says it is essential that commissioners of health and justice services continue to work together to ensure the right services are available to those in need of mental health assessment.Interim director of the Mental Health Network Paddy Cooney said:

"The Health and Social Care Information Centre's figures indicate that many people needing urgent assessment are being taken to police custody settings rather than health facilities. Police stations can be crowded, chaotic and are part of the criminal system; they are not the right place for people experiencing acute mental distress.

"Joined-up working between police and the health service has seen development of some excellent arrangements which ensure those needing urgent assessment under mental health legislation are brought to the right facilities. It is essential that commissioners of health and justice services continue to work together to ensure the right services are available at the right time for everyone needing urgent mental health assessment."

Notes to Editors

The Mental Health Network represents the majority of mental health trusts. It was launched in spring 2007 to provide a distinct voice for providers of NHS mental health services. The Network is part of the NHS Confederation.

The NHS Confederation represents all organisations that commission and provide NHS services. It is the only membership body to bring together and speak on behalf of the whole of the NHS. We help the NHS to guarantee high standards of care for patients and best value for taxpayers by representing our members and working together with our health and social care partners.

We make sense of the whole health system, influence health policy and deliver industry-wide support functions for the NHS.

Follow the NHS Confederation press office on Twitter @NHSConfed_Press and the Mental Health Network on @NHSConfed_MHN

A full list of NHS Confederation press releases and statements can be accessed on our media page

For media enquiries please use the contacts listed above or see our contacts page. For out of hours media enquiries, please call the Duty Press Officer on 07880 500726.

Contacts

Georgie Agass
020 7799 8637
Georgie.Agass@nhsconfed.org

Francesca Reville
020 7799 8633
Francesca.Reville@nhsconfed.org

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