Norfolk organisations pledge to improve mental health care standards
10:22 22 March 2014
Care bosses in Norfolk have pledged to improve support for people with mental health issues.
Minister for Care Norman Lamb was joined by more than a dozen people from key organisations in the county to sign the Mental Health Crisis Care Concordat.
The national initiative aims to reduce the number of people detained inappropriately in police cells, and drive up standards of care for people experiencing a crisis.
It challenges local services to make sure beds are always available for people who need them urgently and also that police custody should never be used just because mental health services are unavailable.
It also stipulates that police vehicles should not be used to transfer patients between hospitals and encourages services to get better at sharing essential need-to-know information about patients which could help keep them and the public safe.
Mr Lamb, who is MP for North Norfolk, said: “It is extremely heartening that all these organisations have agreed to work together, with no pressure from me I might add, to close the gaps between mental health and physical health.
“We must reduce the use of police cells for a start.
“This commitment, made with the Police and Crime Commissioner [Stephen Bett] and his deputy as a catalyst, will help move things forward and that is brilliant news.”
Jenny McKibben, Norfolk’s deputy PPC, said: “This is an important moment for vulnerable people in Norfolk.”
Local organisations that signed up to the concordat on Friday include MIND, the NHS Foundation Trust, Norfolk and Suffolk Ambulance Trust, Norfolk police and Norfolk County Council.