£15m mental health fund announced by the government

The government has announced 41 projects will share £15m to fund mental health places of safety…

The Department of Health has revealed £15m will be plugged into improving mental health services. The funding will be used to support 41 projects working on improving the provision of mental health places of safety.

The funding aims to prevent people in mental health crisis from being placed in a police cell by creating places of safety for these individuals. It is hoped these schemes can put a stop to the number of people in crisis locked up because mental health services are unavailable.

A total of 15 NHS Trusts and partnership organisations have won the first wave of bids, which total £6.1m. These cover 10 police force areas, where the use of police cells for patients has historically been high. This includes Avon and Somerset, Cleveland, Derbyshire, Devon and Cornwall, Essex, Lincolnshire, Nottinghamshire, South Yorkshire, Sussex, West Yorkshire, and Wiltshire police force areas.

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt said: “This government is committed to ending the scandal of people in crisis being locked up in police cells.

“When a person is experiencing a mental health crisis they need the right care, in the right place and at the right time.

“We are fully committed to improving mental health services across the country and these projects will help support people at a crucial time.”

The projects include new section 136 suites, crisis cafés, triage vehicles and places of safety for children and young people.

The remaining £8.9m funding will be opened to bid for across the rest of England. Local Crisis Care Concordat groups, organisations including mental health trusts, clinical commissioning groups, police forces, local authorities and the voluntary and community sector can bid for the funding.

Home Secretary Amber Rudd said: “We have seen good progress on our manifesto commitment to reduce the use of cells, with numbers dropping by 32 per cent across England and Wales in just one year.

“But there is still more to do, and the 41 projects announced today will provide vital facilities for those in crisis to ensure they get the compassionate care and support they need.

“The police should never be the default response for someone experiencing a mental health crisis.

“And we are going further, bringing important changes to legislation through the Policing and Crime Bill to ensure that police cells are only used as a place of safety for adults in exceptional circumstances, and will ban their use altogether for under 18s.

The funding can be used for:

  • refurbishments or improvements to existing health-based places of safety, for example to increase capacity
  • building new places of safety
  • making existing places of safety suitable for use for people aged 18 and under
  • creating mental health crisis cafés or places of calm
  • ambulances for transportation to places of safety to ensure a police car is not used
  • vehicles for mobile street triage services for responding to mental health crises in the community

Successful projects include:

  • Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership Trust – a new 4 bed health-based place of safety for use across the county (£320,000)
  • Barnsley Clinical Commissioning Group – a place of calm for children and young people (23,500 )
  • Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust – a crisis safe space and section 136 suite for adults, young people and children at Millview Hospital (£223,500)
  • Derby and Derbyshire Crisis Care Concordat group – a new adult health-based place of safety and crisis vehicles for driving vulnerable people across the East Midlands (£695,000)
  • Torbay and South Devon NHS Trust; Devon Partnership NHS Trust – a new health-based place of safety for children and young people at Torbay hospital; a new health-based place of safety for adults in Exeter; a safe place within the existing paediatric ward at Torbay hospital’s accident and emergency department; integrating children’s services into early help bases (£555,000)
  • Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust – urgent mental health care lounges in Eastbourne District General Hospital and the Woodlands Centre for Psychiatry in Hastings (£190,000)
  • North & South Essex Partnership University NHS Foundation Trusts – upgrading health-based places of safety across 6 Essex locations including Basildon, Chelmsford, Colchester, Harlow and Rochford (£818,500 )
  • Lincolnshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust – a new psychiatric decision making unit; a rapid response vehicle for street triage; a new child and adolescent mental health (CAMHS) section 136 suite (£406,000)
  • Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership Trust – a new crisis house offering short stay support in a safe and supportive environment for people in crisis (£500,000)
  • Nottinghamshire Healthcare Foundation Trust; East Midlands Ambulance Service NHS Trust – a crisis café; a new psychiatric decision making unit; refurbishment to an existing health-based place of safety in Nottingham; street triage vehicles for use across the East Midlands (£586,000)
  • Sheffield Children’s Hospital NHS Foundation Trust; Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust; Sheffield Health and Social Care NHS Foundation Trust; Sheffield Futures (charity) – a new place of safety for children and young people; a new mental health assessment suite at the Northern General Hospital; refurbishment to the existing adult place of safety at Fulwood House in Sheffield; crisis café for young people (£467,000)
  • Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys NHS Foundation Trust – mental health urgent care base covering Hartlepool, Middlesbrough, Redcar, Cleveland and Stockton on Tees (£674,000)
  • Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust – a street triage vehicle to operate across West Sussex; a new place of safety and de-escalation facility for children and young people; new crisis café in Bognor Regis; refurbishments to improve access to mental health support at Worthing General Hospital, St Richards General Hospital and Langley Green Hospital (£223,000)
  • South West Yorkshire Partnerships Foundation Trust; Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust – a new safe space in Calderdale for people for people in crisis; rebuilding a health-based place of safety in Kirklees; street triage vehicle to operate across West Yorkshire; improvements to mental health crisis liaison facilities for children and young people across Calderdale, Kirklees and Leeds (£422,000)


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