A new initiative in Blackpool, focused on releasing officers to front line duties, has saved 274 hours of policing time within the first month.
The initiative involves partnership working between Lancashire and South Cumbria Integrated Care Board, Lancashire & South Cumbria NHS Foundation Trust, Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, Blackpool Council and Blackpool Police.
Prometheus Safe & Secure, an established provider of care, works with police to escort and supervise service users detained under Section 136 of the Mental Health Act. The specialist care staff will ensure the patient is accompanied whilst they await an assessment in hospital.
This support allows police officers, who would usually have to stay with patients for long hours, get back to front line duties with limited delay.
All partners involved have taken advice and experience of a similar project running in the Cheshire and Merseyside region, which involves both Constabulary’s and health providers.
Superintendent Mark Morley, of Lancashire Police, said: “This very welcome initiative is a prime example of how beneficial partnership working can be.
“Our police officers face huge demand day-in, day-out and go above and beyond to reach the needs of the county. Sometimes our officers have to spend long periods of their duty in A&E wards, leading to last-minute resource changes and limited staffing.
“This new collaboration means that police officers can be relieved from these types of jobs and will be able to go back out to attend other incidents, which will be a huge benefit to our communities.
“The initiative has launched in Blackpool, but we are keen to roll this out to other areas in Lancashire. This is a new concept for us at Lancashire and we are looking forward to seeing how it can help us meet demand in the future.”