Staff at Greater Manchester Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust speak out about the emergency support available from the ‘mental health joint response car’ over the upcoming August bank holiday and Manchester Pride weekend; and plans to expand this support out going forward.
The mental health joint response car service is jointly run by Greater Manchester Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust (GMMH) and Greater Manchester Police (GMP), across Bolton, Salford, Manchester, Trafford and Wigan.
Through the service, a mental health clinician attends incidents alongside the police. The mental health clinician provides specialist mental health support there and then at the scene, and organises the best follow up support or treatment that may be needed. This could include transferring the individual to a place of safety, supporting them access further support from community services or where required support to access inpatient services.
This means that people can get the right care and support as quickly as possible, without having to go through other emergency routes.
It also helps to reduce the number of people presenting to A&E and other emergency services at busy times.
Debbie Robinson, Strategic Lead for Urgent and Emergency Care at GMMH said:
“If you or someone you know experiences a mental health crisis this August bank holiday and Manchester Pride weekend, it is so important to know that help is available. Our mental health helpline is available to everyone, day or night, seven days a week, free of charge on 0800 953 0285, and our mental health joint response car will be working to support individuals with GMP across Bolton, Salford, Trafford, Manchester and Wigan”
The mental health joint response car has been running in Wigan since December 2020. It operates seven days a week and, so far, 1,650 people have been supported with their mental health.
The service was rolled out into Bolton, Salford and Manchester to support with increased need over the Jubilee bank holiday weekend (from 02 June 2022), and has operated during weekends since the start of August.
GMMH and partners now plan to extend the service to seven days a week in these areas by Winter 2022 to cover times of peak demand.
Sian Wimbury, Deputy Chief Operating Officer at GMMH said:
“We are so proud of our mental health joint response car initiative, which reflects a national drive to address mental health challenges in the community at the point that someone is experiencing a crisis. Many mental health needs and other social vulnerabilities – such as learning disabilities, addiction problems or homelessness - are often inter-related. To give people the best chance of recovery, it is vital that we work together with other services to understand their needs as a whole, and provide a joined-up service to address them. Working with our fantastic partners on our mental health joint response car allows us to do just this, and enables us to offer such vital support at the earliest possible opportunity.
“The initiative also helps us to reduce pressures on other emergency services, including A&E, which is so important now more than ever.
“We are now delighted to announce our exciting plans to extend the initiative in Bolton, Salford, Trafford and Manchester to seven days a week by Winter 2022.”
The mental health joint response service also operates in Bury, Oldham, Heywood, Middleton and Rochdale, Tameside and Stockport, and is run by Pennine Care NHS Foundation Trust, in partnership with Greater Manchester Police (GMP)