A project to help people in Greater Manchester experiencing a mental health crisis has been recognised with a national award.
A project that provides increased support for people in a mental health crisis has received a gold award in ‘Police Project of the Year’ from the national Improvement & Efficiency Social Enterprise (iESE).
The iESE awards showcase the best in transformation and improvement from councils, police, fire services and public partnerships.
The project, the first of its kind in Greater Manchester, placed a mental health nurse within Stretford Police Station in a partnership between Greater Manchester West Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust (GMW) and Greater Manchester Police (GMP).
Key members of the project, including Catherine Mudzingwa, Specialist Mental Health Practitioner for GMW, and Jim Liggett, Divisional Superintendent for GMP (Trafford Division), will be presented with an iESE award on 26th April at the Manchester Conference Centre.
As part of the Safer Trafford Partnership, a specialist mental health nurse works alongside police officers to assess people in a mental health crisis and help people who need further support.
The introduction of a specialist mental health nurse to Stretford Police Station has improved the care that people experiencing a mental health crisis receive and reduced the cost and resources required by the police and NHS when responding to these incidents.
The project, which was initially piloted for 12 months, has been a huge success with quicker assessments for people affected by a mental health crisis and improved coordinated case management, thereby reducing police officer time spent dealing with people with mental health problems.
Early findings from an independent evaluation, completed jointly by New Economy with the Safer Trafford Partnership, estimated the project could save emergency services and the NHS in excess of £150k per annum.
Catherine Mudzingwa, Specialist Mental Health Practitioner for GMW, who delivers mental health services at Stretford Police Station, said: “It’s great that this project has received recognition for the hard work put in by all the partners involved.
“This new approach has resulted in faster assessments and ultimately better care for people who are suffering from mental health problems. Not only does this project save police time, but it also supports vulnerable individuals to help them get the care they need.”
Superintendent Jim Liggett said: "The introduction of the specialist mental health practitioner has helped us to ensure vulnerable people suffering mental ill health receive appropriate professional support quickly and efficiently.
"It has been really pleasing to see how successful the new model of partnership working has been and the difference the Specialist Mental Health worker has made to those individuals who have benefitted from the service."