Hampshire Constabulary and Isle of Wight NHS 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 heathcare services.

These individuals are often chaotic in nature, antisocial 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.

Our most significant achievement is knowing that every service user is in a better and more hopeful situation in their life. An integrated approach has made a significant contribution to patient recovery.

In July 2013, IOW used police custody for a mental health crisis for the last time. We have not used a police cell since and manage service users through a multidisciplinary partnership approach. 

The judges felt this is an excellent demonstration of cross public sector working, tackling long standing issues and managing a significant large scale cultural change between services and client.


Derby Teaching Hospitals Foundation Trust


Lancashire Care FT

Poole Hospital

Sheffield Teaching Hospitals FT

South London and Maudsley FT

Totally Health and My Clinical Coach

University Hospitals of the North Midlands

Wessex Academic Health Science Network

HSJ Patient Safety Awards honour Manchester terror attack staff