07 February 2017

The Mental Health Street Triage team operating across Bedfordshire and Luton has been shortlisted for a national award.

The service is in the running for a prestigious Health Service Journal (HSJ) Value in Healthcare award. The team is just one of eight in the shortlist, whittled down from 1,500 entries, and winners will be announced at a glittering ceremony at Grosvenor House in London on 24 May.

Mental Health Street Triage is a partnership between the Trust, Bedfordshire Police, East of England Ambulance Trust, Bedfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group, Luton Clinical Commissioning Group and mental health charities Mind BLMK and the Samaritans.

Gail Dearing, ELFT’s Bedfordshire Mental Health Street Triage lead: “The focus of the street triage partners is to make sure people experiencing a mental health crisis get the right care at the earliest possible opportunity.

“We are delighted that our efforts to provide a proactive frontline mental health service have been recognised.

“This nomination is testament to the dedication of the triage staff and the teams working behind the scenes who provide invaluable support.”

The multi-agency scheme involves a police officer, paramedic and mental health professional teaming up in one car to respond to mental health crisis calls 365 days a year. They cover the whole county, operating from 3pm – 1am, with bases at police headquarters in Kempston and at Luton Police Station.

The team attend incidents where there is an immediate threat to life – someone threatening to self-harm, or commit suicide – or where a third party has called the police or ambulance and expressed concern for someone.

Police and ambulance control rooms contact the team direct and signpost them to incidents.

The pilot project was launched in May 2016 and is shortlisted in the mental health category of the awards.