Hampshire Constabulary and Isle of Wight Trust with Wessex Academic Health Science Network: Serenity Integrated Mentoring (SIM) Project

Across the UK, police forces are struggling to manage a small number of repeat callers with complex mental health needs. In a typical policing district, a very small number of known people will regularly cause up to a third of all crises, mental health demand, not only to police but also to other emergency and heath care services.

These individuals are often chaotic in nature, anti-social in behaviour and occasionally criminal in their conduct towards relatives, friends, members of the public and public service personnel. In the most extreme of cases, mental health professionals describe them as ‘unmanageable’.

In June 2013, six such service users and their mental health nurses were joined on their clinical journeys by a police officer. The officer showed the compassion of a nurse but also brought with him, boundaries and consequences not offered by the NHS. The rules started to change and the service users soon realised that behaviours that had once worked were no longer acceptable, excusable or usable without consequence. The recovery pathway had become integrated and the language consistent.

The most significant achievement is knowing that every service user is in a better and more hopeful situation in their life. An integrated approach had made a significant contribution to patient recovery. In July 2013, the Isle of Wight used police custody for a mental health crisis for the last time. A police cell has not been used since but service users are managed through a multidisciplinary partnership approach.

The judges felt that the team has identified a clear gap and put in a simple, cross boundary system, building on what was already good practice. The result has been significant across both patient experience and financial impact, with a replicable solution now being rolled out..

Read in full about the winning project at HSJ Solutions.

Highly Commended was Mental Health Inreach Team, Oxleas NHS Trust and HMP Swaleside.

365 Response Ltd
Berkshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust
Lift Psychology
NTW Foundation Trust
Royal Cornwall Hospital Trust
South West Lincolnshire CCG & Lincolnshire Partnership Foundation Trust
Surrey and Borders Partnership Foundation Trust
The Bedfordshire and Luton Mental Health Partnership
Virgin Care Limited