Crisis response teams
The crisis response team is a team of mental health practitioners based in the police control room. The goal of the crisis response team is to improve on the initial police response to members of the public struggling with mental health issues.
It does this by ensuring appropriate and timely signposting for their care. The Greater Manchester crisis response team service was commissioned for an 18-month trial period which began in August 2018.
The key objectives of the service are to:
- Provide real-time advice on live incidents that are mental health-related, allowing for enhanced critical risk management and more appropriate outcomes
- Where appropriate, divert people into services without the need for police/health attendance
- Have access to all-age mental health record information
- Have the time to support officers considering mental health legislation and as a consequence be a mandatory check-point prior to the use of s.136 of the MHA
- Provide better linkage into commissioned alternatives to A&E
- Recognise repeat callers and be able to flag these to specialised colleagues in place-based teams for further necessary intervention
The team are supporting a greater volume and breadth of cases than was anticipated in the original business case for the service. Based on current performance it will support an estimated 5,800 cases per annum or approximately 30% of all demand which includes ‘mental health’ as a feature to some degree.
Feedback from frontline police officers is broadly very positive, even among officers who do not regularly use the service. It is estimated that, on average, CRT is able to facilitate a reduced attendance duration of just over an hour for police officers. Benefits also include a reduction in A&E attendances and a number of cases in which police attendance is avoided entirely.