Mind reacts to UK Government announcement of Right Care, Right Person approach
The UK Government has announced a new national agreement to support mental health care, which places significantly more emphasis on the NHS.
The agreement aims to free up a million hours of police time, using a 'Right Care, Right Person' approach. However there are serious concerns that without new funding for mental health services, people who need help may not be able to receive it.
Responding to the news, Dr Sarah Hughes, Chief Executive of Mind, said: “The way this decision has been framed is deeply worrying and sends completely the wrong message to the public and to local police forces. One in four of us has a mental health problem. This decision has the potential to affect any of us. Above all, at the heart of any decision like this should be the people that the police serve not the potential hours of work saved.
“This announcement goes nowhere near offering enough guarantees that these changes will be introduced safely – there is no new funding attached and no explanation of how agencies will be held accountable. It is simply impossible to take a million hours of support out of the system without replacing it with investment and mental health services are not resourced to step up overnight. These changes must be introduced slowly and carefully, so no one is abandoned without support.
“It would also be dangerous for forces to step back while local communities and health systems work out how to respond – we are already hearing from local Minds who have concerns about how this is playing out. We are also deeply concerned that the Met Police still haven’t publicly reversed their decision to stop responding to mental health related emergency calls if they are deemed not life threatening, from the end of August.
“In the meantime, an emergency is an emergency, and the public cannot hold this risk in the absence of a workable approach from all the authorities we all trust to look after us in an emergency. The police aren’t always the right agency to help people with mental health problems and communities know best what they need so all involved must have the right time and resource to work this out.”