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Service innovation: policing mental health – the St Andrew's scheme

  • Alison Mann (a1), Philip Sugarman (a2), Carol Rooney (a3), Mary Goodman (a4) and Jim Lynch (a4)...
Extract

Assaults against healthcare staff have gained increasing attention, prompting the Zero Tolerance Zone campaign in the National Health Service (NHS) (Department of Health, 1999). This advised that treatment could be withheld as a sanction, although not from ‘anyone who is mentally ill or under the influence of drugs'. More recently the NHS Security Management Service (Department of Health, 2005) found that the greatest number of assaults (over 43 000) were found in mental health and learning disability environments.

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This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY) license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
References
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Bayney, R. & Ikkos, G. (2003) Managing criminal acts on the psychiatric ward: understanding the police view. Advances in Psychiatric Treatment, 9, 359367.
Behr, G. M., Ruddock, J. P., Benn, P., et al (2005) Zero tolerance of violence by users of mental health services: the need for an ethical framework. British Journal of Psychiatry, 187, 78.
Brown, A. (2006) Prosecuting psychiatric inpatients – where is the thin blue line? Medicine, Science and the Law, 46, 712.
Coyne, A. (2002) Should patients who assault staff be prosecuted? Journal of Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing, 8, 139145.
Department of Health (1999) NHS Zero Tolerance Zone ‘We Don't Have to Take This’ Resource Pack. TSO (The Stationery Office).
Department of Health (2005) Promoting Safer and Therapeutic Services. TSO (The Stationery Office).
Dinwiddie, S. H., & Briska, W. (2004) Prosecution of psychiatric inpatients: theoretical and practical issues. International Journal of Law and Psychiatry, 27, 1729.
Health & Safety Executive (2006) Memorandum of Understanding on Investigating Patient Safety Incidents. TSO (The Stationery Office).
Home Office (1995) Mentally Disordered Offenders: Intra-Agency Working (Home Office Circular). London: TSO (The Stationery Office).
Joseph, P. (1990) Mentally disordered offenders: diversion from the criminal justice system. Journal of Forensic Psychiatry, 1, 133138.
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BJPsych Bulletin
  • ISSN: 0955-6036
  • EISSN: 1472-1473
  • URL: /core/journals/bjpsych-bulletin
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Service innovation: policing mental health – the St Andrew's scheme

  • Alison Mann (a1), Philip Sugarman (a2), Carol Rooney (a3), Mary Goodman (a4) and Jim Lynch (a4)...
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eLetters

Link police officer

Jinesh Shah, Senior House Officer in Airedale-Bradford Rotation.
12 March 2007

It was interesting to read the special article on policing mental heath by Mann et al (PB, Mar 07, 31, 97-98).

Violence towards staff, towards other patients and criminal damage toproperty is becoming very common in mental heath units. Only in very few cases it is clearly due to hallucinations, delusions or mania. In most of the cases, it is due to the person’s personality and behaviour. We have become so used to it that we tend to tolerate it, without realising that this could reinforce the behaviour.

Recently, I was pleasantly surprised to see student police officers doing placements in mental health units. The idea of a dedicated hospital police officer is very encouraging. The presence of a link officer can send the right message to patients and also to staff about managing such behaviour.
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Conflict of interest: None Declared

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