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Found 22 results

  1. Advanced Directives

    This is a scenario from an Ambulance forum and thought it was worthy of discussion here. Scenario is you attend an address where you're met with a person who's takes an OD but is conscious. They hand you an Advanced Directive that appears genuine which states the person refuses any and all medical treatment. Paramedics turn out and whilst discussions are on going the person falls unconscious and medics refuse to step in and start treatment. What do you do? A medic involved in a similar incident was threatened with arrest under the Suivide Act by a Sgt at the scene.
  2. A mental health practitioner will accompany police officers to incidents involving mental health issues under the scheme. A previously successful trial where nurses pair with officers responding to calls involving mental issues is returning to Kent. The pilot by Kent and Medway NHS and Social Care Partnership Trust (KMPT) and Kent Police will run in Thanet over the next few months when demand for attendance at mental health related incidents is high. Kent Police detained 1,256 people under section 136 of the Mental Health Act in 2016 and chief superintendent Rachel Curtis hopes the triage team will help officers make “informed decisions”. She said: “The street triage scheme will mean a qualified medical professional attending mental health related incidents in Thanet that have been reported to the police. “Our police officers receive mental health training the same way they receive first aid training but they are not medical experts. “The pilot will mean those in crisis will receive qualified medical help and the officers will have on-the-scene advice from an expert to make informed decisions. “The number one priority here is making sure those suffering a mental health crisis get the most appropriate care and treatment.” The street triage scheme is the latest in a number measures KMPT and Kent Police have put in place to address mental health in police incidents in the county. KMPT’s Director of Transformation, Vincent Badu, said: “We are delighted to be involved in the delivery of this pilot scheme, which will offer a local response to anyone in crisis. “The scheme demonstrates the importance of partnership working and, through the Concordat, we have agreed joint outcomes and measures which will enable us to capture all the improvements achieved.” Kent Police and Crime Commissioner Matthew Scott says he will be “keeping a close eye” on the progress of the initiative. He said: “Cases involving mental health now amount for around a third of Kent Police time. “I am pleased to see the return of a street triage scheme. “I will be keeping a close eye on the scheme to see whether it helps deliver against the priorities set out within my Safer in Kent Plan. “I also continue to welcome bids to my Mental Health and Policing Fund from projects which free up police officers’ time while also ensuring that people in mental health crisis get the right support from the right person. “The increased time police spend dealing with mental health is unsustainable nationally so I will be discussing the triage outcomes with my fellow PCCs and Government so that other force areas can decide whether they wish to replicate this scheme in their own communities.” View on Police Oracle
  3. A national campaign, led by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry, has released a film featuring celebrities talking about how they faced their own mental health problems. Rapper Professor Green, cricketer Freddie Flintoff, comedian Ruby Wax and others say admitting their problems for the first time made them realise they were not alone. But for many, asking for help can be much harder. "We didn't really know what we were being sent to," Dan Farnworth, a paramedic in the north-west, says. "The next thing I knew, a child was just placed into my arms." It was 2015, and Dan had just been sent to a 999 call that would change his life. "When we arrived we knocked on the front door, but we couldn't get in. We didn't know what had happened inside," the 31-year-old told the Victoria Derbyshire programme. It quickly became apparent the call involved the murder of a young child. "All of a sudden this little girl was just placed in my arms," Dan, a father-of-four, says. "I just remember looking at her. I remember thinking she looked like one of my own children. She had the same colour hair as one of my children. "I just felt like I froze. It was scary. It is the worst thing I have ever seen in 12 years of doing this job." Flashbacks That night, the horror of what Dan had witnessed began to dawn on him. He finished his shift early and went home, but couldn't sleep. He soon realised something more serious was wrong. "I started having nightmares and flashbacks," he says. "My mind started filling in the gaps, seeing things happen that I hadn't actually seen. "It was awful. I had flashbacks during the day and I was becoming like a recluse and not talking to people at work." In the days and weeks that followed, Dan says he became "a different person". "I realised something was wrong but didn't know where to turn. It was like I was in a deep dark hole, I was scared and drinking and smoking more heavily." Dan says he was struggling to deal with his mental health problems, but feared being honest with his employers might have seen him lose his job. He had always wanted to work in the emergency services. Starting in the ambulance control room answering 999 calls, he then spent time dispatching the air ambulance, before finally applying for a job as an emergency medical technician. He had been on the road since 2010. "I was actually scared that by opening up and talking about what was going on, someone would turn round and say 'this job isn't for you'." 'Put the kettle on' Eventually Dan reached out to his friend and fellow paramedic Rich Morton. Dan says he typed out a text message, telling Rich what had been going on. However, he deleted it before he could send it. He re-wrote the message, but again deleted it. He wrote the message for a third time, and this time pressed send. Dan was so scared of what his friend would say that he hid his mobile phone under a pillow. "He texted me straight back, saying 'put the kettle on, I'm coming over'," he says now. "That text message was the first day of the rest of my life." Dan was later diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). He was signed off work for five months. He says he was offered "unbelievable" support from his GP and received counselling. According to the charity Mind, he is not alone in working in the emergency services and suffering mental health problems. The charity says nearly 90% of blue light staff have reported stress and poor mental health at work. Emergency workers are twice as likely to identify problems at work as the main cause of those mental health problems as the general workforce, Mind says. Dan and Rich have since started their own charity, called Our Blue Light, aimed at improving the mental health of blue light services workers. And through their involvement with Mind, Dan and Rich have also rubbed shoulders with the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry. Marathon challenge Last year, the three royals launched a new campaign called Heads Together, aimed at ending the stigma surrounding mental health. On Wednesday, Heads Together released a series of films to encourage "a national conversation" about mental health. Celebrities including cricketer Freddie Flintoff, comedian Ruby Wax and ex-Downing Street communications director Alastair Campbell have released films about their mental health struggles. In a statement, the royals said: "We have seen time and time again that shattering stigma on mental health starts with simple conversations. "When you realise that mental health problems affect your friends, neighbours, children and spouses, the walls of judgement and prejudice around these issues begin to fall." The royals say attitudes towards mental health are now "at tipping point." As for Dan, Prince Harry had a more specific challenge. "He told me we should run the London Marathon," Dan says, "so we started running the very next day." "Stigmas still exist and [mental health] is a taboo subject," Dan says. "People think mental health is a big issue, but I'm Dan, I'm 31 years old with a job and a family and my life is normal. But I have a mental health problem." Watch the Victoria Derbyshire programme on weekdays between 09:00 and 11:00 on BBC Two and the BBC News Channel. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-39432297
  4. My first response blog

    Rank:SC Length of Service: 2 Months Planned Hours:1400x2300 Type of Shift:Response (IRT) 1400: Arrive in breifing to have a superintendant drop by, brieifing complete, and he begins to discuss force model and any questions we may have. 14:30 inspector comes in to tell us we have a few calls waiting, we all grab our vehicles and sgt reads out who we're paired with. I'm working with someone i've never worked with before (I'm yet to ever work with the same person twice :P) Lovely guy and excellent to work with :P, We're in the new van! We head out, ours was a non-urgent call to someone reportedly assaulted and was with the ambulance service, we had not received any more info than possible assault but not confirmed by crew in attendance. 14:50 Arrive on scene to find no injured party or ambulance. Member of the public approaches us and tells us that they were taken away around 10 minutes ago, update comms and they tell us they're at the hospital. We go off to the hopital and speak to the person (15:10) Injury appeared old and not recent, and they were unsure of how it had happened, given advice of how to proceed if they remember any details of the incident. Resume patrol around area. 16:15 still on patrol around in our area, Get called to a house where the delivery person had found the door open, they shouted upstairs but no reply. We get cancelled en-route as the family had been contacted and they were found, resume patrol 16:00 attempt to do some paper work in a local nick, login to the computers to get called to a Domestic that happened over half an hour ago, over an hour away in rush hour... Begin the long journey non-blues. The IP had left the property and was no longer a threat. 16:45 Stood down as unit from another station were in attendance. 17:30 back at the nick again trying to do paperwork, login and straight out as we're called up again. Misper reporting wanting to commit suicide, En-route we're updated family were picking him up, all safe and well, stood down around the corner to return to duties. 18:00 attempt to go back to the nick... Get around the corner and we're called to someone who was on the phone to the 999 operator saying they wanted to end their life and they were in the process of self harming. All times after this are approx as i lost track of time My first call to a self harmer/attempted suicide, so im going in clueless on this one. At the same time calls went up for a suicide in the next town over, we were not resourced for this. 18:30 Arrive en scene to knock at the door, no answer. We open the front door and find the person laying on the sofa right infront of the door with a knife to their throat. My collegue immediately draws his Taser and has a good shot on the person. After what felt like a lifetime of trying to talk to the suspect, put the knife down we're here to talk and help ect, they attempted to put the knife into their throat, then realised it was a taser and put the knife down. The first thing they said was 'you're really cute', Weird i know, they didn't say it in a sexual way so i wasn't offended Me and my collegue get talking to the person( me and my collegue share the same first name, always a good ice breaker ) while talking to the male it appears there are many more issues than first appear. Family and mental health issues as well as PTSD from serving in the forces (I've been attracting these jobs lately). They were continually making threats towards themselves/others, We talk/walk around for a good two hours before the ambulance shows up. They becomes abit agitated at times and said he had been drinking/taken a small overdose. 20:30 Ambulance arrive and do basic Obs, ECG shows minor abnormalitiy, after much convincing and an 'agreement' between my collegue and the person we got him to the ambulance, and that was still a struggle. My collegue was excellent with them, while he would happily talk with me and we had a laugh at times he could talk to him much more 21:00 arrive at the hospital and they do their thing, we stay with him talking to them, turns out the person and collegue were both knew people in the town where they were from so we had a good laugh/talk with him, but he was still getting iritated at times. 21:15 Minor set back and the person kicked off, attempting to leave, S136'd and we remain with them to make sure they stay for treatment. Didn't have any problems after this as we were all happy talking, things got a little heated once when talking about what had happened to them, but in the end a night shift came over to cover us, hand shakes done and goodbyes said we go on our way 22:30 Crew turn up to releive us, Refs time 23:00 arrive at nick to do crime reports from earlier and finish up some paper work 00:15 finally go home for my dinner Apologises if this is terrible, there are a few details i missed out purposely in an attempt to keep everyone anonamous as you do. If i've revealed too much do edit/delete my post as approrpiate. And it's my first shift blog so go easy on me"
  5. UK police are spending as much as 40% of their time dealing with incidents triggered by some kind of mental health issue, against a backdrop of severe cuts in social and health services, the Guardian has learned.Mental health crisis takes huge and increasing share of police time | UK news | The Guardian https://www.google.co.uk/amp/s/amp.theguardian.com/uk-news/2016/jan/27/mental-health-crisis-huge-increasing-share-police-time-40%3f0p19G=e?client=ms-android-orange-gb
  6. Katie Simpkins sleeping in the back of a police car Katie Simpkins had to sleep in the back of a police car in a hospital car park, because there were no beds available. Photograph: Tristan Simpkins/PA Steven Morris A chief constable has expressed deep concern that a patient with serious mental health problems had to sleep in the back of a police car in a hospital car park because there was no bed available for her. http://www.theguardian.com/society/2016/sep/02/wiltshire-police-hospital-bed-mental-health?CMP=Share_AndroidApp_Copy_to_clipboard What would you or your forve have done?
  7. This is a really sad case and I have the upmost sympathy for the parents. However, I am really disappointed at the way in which ‘police-present drownings’ are reported in the media. Jack was taken to hospital and received care from a Consultant, who discharged him following an episode of drug induced psychosis, without giving any after care advice. That is a clear failure in relation to clinical responsibilities of duty of care. I also assume that this lad was not medicated? Someone in that state needs to be put on diazepam for a few days, plus some sleeping pills. He probably had not slept in days, which would have caused a form of psychosis in its own right. Also, there should have been some follow up. Whilst a one off episode of drug induced psychosis is not necessarily indicative of someone suffering from chronic mental illness, there should have been a referral to an Early Intervention Service who would have followed this up. The failings that led to the death are clearly based on NHS failings and not police ones. The police were put in a difficult situation and, contrary to the sub-headline, the police did the water (see other article link below). The Officer who did enter the water, PC Richard Wilson, did so bravely and I cannot imagine how upset he was to find that his efforts were in vain. He actually got into trouble himself and had to be rescued by a rower, who provided an account of the dangers of the situation and corroborated the dynamic risk assessment that was undertaken. I am not the best swimmer in the world, but I have done a Rescue Diver course as part of my scuba diver training. The training was clear and unequivocal that it is problematic to rescue a non-compliant individual. Scuba Divers in trouble are not the same as someone running away from the police. However, someone panicking in water and thrashing about is dangerous regardless of what caused them to be in that state in the first place. The training that I received was to leave people who were non-compliant until they had exhausted themselves and then effect a rescue. This is specific to Scuba Divers, but the principles are similar. The safety of the rescuer takes priority and a non-compliant person cannot be safely rescued. The criticism about police / bystanders lacking a sense of urgency is driven by a misperception that someone can jump into dangerous water and safely rescue someone with being injured or otherwise needing rescue themselves. Link to other article: http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2016/apr/29/jack-susianta-boy-17-drowned-fleeing-police-accidental-death-inquest-rules
  8. A More Typical Duty

    This is a more typical duty that I have done recently Your rank: PC Your planned duty hours: 0700-1700 0700 - Briefing. Double crewed, only double crew to cover the area. 0800 - Call received from a lady stating that she had been made aware of a lifeline activation at her elderly mother's address. Upon her arrival all of the doors are locked and her spare key is useless because there is a key in the other side of the door. Mum has had a history of falls in the last 12 months, and upon looking through the window can see her mum lay on the floor in the hall. Calls police to assist in gaining entry. 0830 - Upon police arrival we decide to smash the bottom panel of glass in the back door, messy but cheapest and easiest to replace. Elderly female is alert, conscious and breathing but is unable to move and can feel pain around her hip and back. Call is put in to ambulance. 0930 - After an hour of feeling pretty helpless (gave her a pillow and some blankets to make her feel more comfortable) and making small talk paramedics finally arrive (it had been graded a red 2 eight minute response time they told us when putting the call in ). Left the female in the care of paramedics and daughter said that she knew of a glazier that could replace the glass. 1000 - Incoming aircraft emergency at the nearby international airport is put out for information only on the local talkgroup. Headquarters resources were attending but we were made aware in case it came to something and we were required. 1300 - Call received from a female stating that her partner had recently been discharged from the mental health unit and was now back home self harming and trying to slit his own throat. We asked about taser however the risk assessment was that the subject only posed a threat to himself and not others therefore local officers to attend and it would be reassessed if we were met with a threat. Whilst en route control told me that the male in question had been sectioned just before Christmas after putting a knife down his throat and trying to swallow it. The location is a row of three storey flats, each accessed by a balcony as opposed to being a tower block. Upon arrival see a male stood in the doorway of the incident address (second storey). Upon seeing us he goes back inside and closes the door. By the time we get up to his storey he has come back outside and is stood on the balcony. I approach him, in company with my crew mate, and he is compliant and engages with us. My crew mate then see's a female at the bottom of the stairway and goes to speak to her, who it transpires was the caller. After a few minutes of me speaking to the male he tells me that he had woken up that morning and felt in a bad way (mentally) and that he just wanted to hurt himself, he doesn't know why. I asked him what he did and he told me that he smashed a glass over his head and then tried to cut his throat with it however it was too blunt and would not pierce the skin. He had no injuries when I looked. After a few minutes my crewmate comes back up and then arrests the male for domestic assault. Unbeknown to me a domestic argument had taken place and the male had said if she tries to leave he would try to kill himself; she duly left and that is when the glass smashing incident took place. Following the female's call to the police he had then gone outside into the hallway area and headbutted her. Female is not willing to support a prosecution or give a statement, if anything she felt annoyed that she had called police to help her partner (self harm) and we were arresting him. Although at least one benefit would be that he would receive a mental health assessment in custody and would not be able to self harm. 1530 - Clerical 1700 - Cease Duty
  9. A frustrated Met police officer has live-tweeted their six-hour battle to find an available mental health bed in London for a man who was a “danger to himself”. Full Story - Evening Standard
  10. Hi All, I've just joined this forum to ask one question. Yesterday a friend had a bad argument at home and threatened to harm himself to me. A a lot of his friends were very concerned for him. We had no contact from him since yesterday, so I was elected to call the police. I rang the 101 number and spoke to a controller and expressed my concerns. She located a report filed yesterday by his spouse. She obviously couldn't tell me anything about what was going on, apart from that my friend had been located and that he was being dealt with. She took my name and number, and said they'd let him know I'd rang up concerned. So, my question is - does this mean that my friend is still in police custody? Thanks, JCA
  11. The home secretary, Theresa May, is to pledge up to £15m of new funding to provide health-based alternatives for the 4,000 people a year who spend time in detention in police cells under the Mental Health Act. In her first speech since being reappointed home secretary, May will tell the Police Federation conference on Wednesday that a new policing and sentencing bill, to be included in next week’s Queen’s speech, will include legislation to ban the use of police cells to detain any children with mental health problems. It is thought that the ban on detaining those under 18 in police cells as “places of safety” is likely to affect at least 150 children each year because of the lack of alternative NHS health facilities. The policing and sentencing bill is also expected to include a manifesto promise to introduce a new sentence based around a “sharp, short spell in custody” that will involve locking up prolific offenders in police cells “to change their behaviour”. The home secretary is to tell the Police Federation that the extra £15m in funding will save police time and ensure that vulnerable people receive the medical care and support they need. The Conservative manifesto includes a pledge to ensure proper provision of places of safety for people suffering mental health crises. The new funding is to be made available to the NHS, working in partnership with police and crime commissioners, to fund more health-based and alternative places of safety. People detained under the Mental Health Act 1983 can be held in a hospital or police station for up to 72 hours. May is to tell the Police Federation conference in Bournemouth: “Nobody wins when the police are sent to look after people suffering from mental health problems; vulnerable people don’t get the care they need and deserve, and the police can’t get on with the job they are trained to do. “Last year, over 4,000 people detained under section 135 and 136 of the Mental Health Act were held in a police cell rather than in a health-based place of safety. “The government will provide the bed and the funding that is needed to stop that happening. This will mean up to £15m of new funding to deliver health-based places of safety in England and a guarantee from this government that no person with mental health problems will be detained by the police due to the lack of a suitable alternative. “The right place for a person suffering a mental health crisis is a bed, not a police cell. And the right people to look after them are medically trained professionals, not police officers.” The latest figures show that at least 21,995 people were sectioned under section 136 of the Mental Health Act 1983, of whom at least 20% were detained in police cells. The police are estimated to spend between 20% and 40% of their time dealing with people with mental health issues. The new legislation in next week’s Queen’s speech will also ensure that police cells are only used as a place of safety for adults if the person’s behaviour is so extreme that they cannot otherwise be safely managed. The current 72-hour maximum period of detention for the purposes of a medical assessment will be reduced and the new bill will enable other places, apart from police cells and health-based alternatives, to be designated as places of safety to support vulnerable people. View the full article
  12. Self Harm

    Is it an offence to deliberately cause harm to oneself? IE cut your own wrists. Scenario is your called to a suicide risk - Guy has called 999 saying he isn't feeling good. Ambulance attends and Guy tells them he wants to be admitted into a mental health hospital. As per the ambulance crew procedure they tell Guy that they can take him to A&E where a Dr can assess him and then refer to the mental health facility if appropriate. Guy doesn't like this and becomes verbally aggressive to the ambulance crew so they withdraw and call for police assistance. You turn up, go in with Ambo crew and Guy says he wants to go to mental health facility, still refuses to go via A&E no matter how much you try and convince him. On call mental health nurse comes out at your request and speaks with Guy. She tells him there are no beds at the facility but a Dr will come to Guys house within 12 hours to assess him at home and decide what happens next. During this long conversation Guy has deliberately made a very minor cut to his arm. Ambo crew leaves, MH Nurse leaves with the opinion that Guy is lonely and looking for an audience to perform to. Guy says that when you leave he is going to take a drug overdose. You have been at Guys house for about 4 hours so far. MH nurse is happy that Guy has capacity and has arranged for a Dr to visit soon. What do you do?
  13. Liverpool Crown Court building An ex-RAF man attacked a Wirral custody assistant causing her horrific facial injuries. Dad-of-two Jonathan Hindley, 37, of Broadway Avenue, Wallasey, was being held at Wirral’s police custody suite after damage had been caused to a neighbour’s property.   Liverpool Crown Court was told that as he was being led along a corridor to make a phone call he grabbed the custody assistant by the throat and crushed her to the floor, leaving her bleeding from the face and struggling to breathe. It took six police officers using CS gas to pull Hindley off her in the incident last September.   Doctors later found that her mouth had been torn away from her jaw.   Hindley pleaded guilty to section 18 assault in January.   Frank Dillon, prosecuting, read out a victim impact statement from the woman, who had worked as a custody assistant for 10 years. She said: “Mr Hindley never leaves me. No matter what I go or where I do he sits on my right shoulder.   “I feel the crushing arms of him around me at night instead of the safe arms of my husband of 30 years. “Mr Hindley was prevented from taking my life, but he has prevented me from returning to the life I had before. “I can’t find the strength to fight, I can’t return to that feeling of being lucky, I can’t find me.”   Liverpool Crown Court heard that Hindley started suffering from paranoid delusions after returning from holiday in September last year, believing that his family was in danger and that hospital computers were bugged.   He ended up in custody after an incident which led to damage to a neighbour’s property.   Mr Dillon told the court that his victim had found him polite and good humoured earlier in the evening before the unprovoked attack took place. He added that the attack had caused her “serious psychological trauma.”   Dr Steven Knoblett, who is treating Mr Hindley, told the court: “There is a direct link between his offence and his mental illness. “He wouldn’t have engaged in that offence without his acute psychosis.”   Passing a hospital order, Judge Watson said that Hindley’s behaviour was “inexplicable” without his mental health problems.   “For someone of your age, your background, and without previous convictions, to attack a public servant in this way would be otherwise inexplicable, but it becomes explicable, not forgivable, through the findings that Mr Knoblett has set out today.” He added that the public would be better protected through the hospital order than if Hindley went into custody.   http://www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/news/liverpool-news/ex-raf-man-launched-horrific-attack-8973365  
  14. I was looking at the Medical requirements for Special Applications, and since "1 in 5" will suffer with depression in our lives, how strong are forces to reject applicants with mental health issues? What happens if you later on get diagnosed with a MH disorder?
  15. According to Insp Michael Brown, the MH co-ordinator for mental health (and star of the Mental Health NCALT/avid tweeter), there are some new codes of practice for the Mental Health Act 1983, due to come into force on the 1st of april. According to his twitter, operational police officers should take note of chapters 16, 17, 27 & 28. You may also wish to read 14 & 15. I thought I'd post this here, as we all know we'll probably not get told this has changed, then get penalised for it later down the line! Bottom covering in overdrive! Insp Brown has also written up a summary: https://mentalhealthcop.wordpress.com/2015/01/15/new-code-of-practice/ Codes of practice are at: http://t.co/QXuKbY8dsS (direct PDF download) The new Code of Practice to the Mental Health Act 1983 - http://t.co/QXuKbY8dsS #newcopmha — Insp Michael Brown (@MentalHealthCop) March 19, 2015 Enjoy, Soap
  16. There is no comparison of elsewhere and I have no idea what classified something as a "ligature incident" so this could be alarmingly high or it could be a media "shocking statistics say" headline.
  17. Kesia Leatherbarrow (Photo: Handout) The police’s treatment of a vulnerable 17-year-old girl, who committed suicide in northwest England after being detained in police custody for an entire weekend, will face official state scrutiny Monday. An inquest into Keisa Leatherbarrow’s death is expected to highlight concerns over Greater Manchester Police officers’ handling of people who suffer from mental health issues. In the case of Leatherbarrow, the young woman had a history of self-harm. The teenager's inquest began at a coroner’s court in south Manchester on Monday. The coroner presiding over the case is Joanna Kearsley. It is expected to last five weeks. Martina Brincat Baines, Keisa’s mother, said the family was devastated by the 17-year-old’s death. “We hope that the inquest will provide some answers to allow us to come to terms with this terrible tragedy,” she said. Leatherbarrow hung herself in December 2013. In an effort to make her way into a residential care home for recovering addicts to visit her friend after hours, she had broken a window. When police officers were alerted, they arrived on the scene and arrested the teenager. They found a small amount of cannabis in her possession at the time. The 17-year-old subsequently spent three days and two nights in police custody. While in the cell, she was highly emotionally distressed, repeatedly banged her head against the wall and made numerous suicide threats. Nevertheless, she remained incarcerated. While Leatherbarrow was allegedly visited in custody by nurses, no official assessment of her mental state was carried out. Despite showing signs of extreme stress, she did not see an appropriate adult for more than 16 hours. Police officers also failed to contact health professionals, social services or her mother during this period. Several hours after being released, Keisa hanged herself in a friend’s garden. History of mental health issues Prior to her arrest, Leatherbarrow had spent five weeks in a mental health ward for adolescents because her mental health had shown signs of deterioration, and her self-harming had aroused concern. She had also been arrested in October 2013 by Lancashire Police for breaching the peace, following threats of self-harm and suicide. On this particular occasion, Leatherbarrow was released after being detained in a police cell for a night. She later fled her family home after threatening to commit suicide. The police were subsequently called, and Leatherbarrow was taken away from a motorway bridge by officers. Inquest, a UK-based charity that supports bereaved family members and relatives in the run-up to and after coroners’ hearings, expressed strong concern over Leatherbarrow’s case. The charity’s co-director, Deborah Coles, stressed that Leatherbarrow was vulnerable, and “should never have been locked up.” “Inquest is sadly working on far too many cases involving deaths of children and young people with mental health problems where the very systems that should be in place to protect them have failed,” she said. “This inquest must ensure the most robust scrutiny of all those with responsibility for Kesia’s treatment and care to expose any failings and ensure that no other family has to lose a child in these disturbing circumstances.” Institutional failures The Leatherbarrow family have expressed hope that Keisa’s inquest will directly address serious issues regarding the way in which Greater Manchester Police handled the young woman while she was kept in their custody. The family also hopes the inquest will examine whether police took the appropriate measures to safeguard the teenager from the risk she posed to herself. Figures released by the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) have revealed that almost 50 percent of deaths related to police custody in 2011-12 involved vulnerable people suffering from mental health issues. Some 39 people overall are thought to have committed suicide following police custody in 2011-12. This figure rose dramatically last year, however, climbing to 64. A further 15 people died while in police custody in 2012-13. Leatherbarrow’s death has prompted ministers to introduce a legislative change, which will mean young people under the age of 18 can no longer be detained in police stations overnight. Late last year, however, it emerged many vulnerable British children are finding themselves locked up in prisons rather than receiving required medical help, as hospitals and medical centers lack the resources to treat them. Of approximately 23,000 incidents involving vulnerable individuals in 2012-13, one in four were sent to prison cells. More than 200 children in total were taken into police custody, despite recommendations that the measures should only be used in exceptional circumstances. View the article source
  18. A senior police officer takes to Twitter to highlight the case of a teen with mental health issues who has been held for two days.     A senior police officer says a 16-year-old girl with mental health issues is in police custody because no NHS beds are available.   Assistant Chief Constable Paul Netherton, from Devon and Cornwall Police, said she was detained on Thursday night and sectioned on Friday lunchtime.   She should have been taken to hospital, but police were told there were no places for her anywhere in the UK.   Several police cells have been taken out of use as a result and an officer has been taken off regular duties to focus on the teenager.   ACC Netherton told Sky News the force has been working with the NHS to try and find accommodation for the girl.   He said: "I was very concerned because we shouldn't be put in a position where we have a 16-year-old schoolgirl kept in custody now for three days because there is no place where we can house her safely.   "A police station and a custody block on a Friday and Saturday night is simply not a place where a young child should be placed.   "We wouldn't put a criminal in custody for that long and we certainly don't want to put someone who is suffering from mental health issues in a custody block for that length of time."   ACC Netherton said an area of the station's cells had been closed to keep the girl in a "quiet and calm" environment and her mother had been allowed to visit to reassure her.    He added: "We are trying to access trained nurses to come and look after her at an alternative location - it's just we don't think she should be in a police station."   He said the case was symptomatic of an ongoing problem, with 750 people with mental health issues in Devon & Cornwall alone detained in police stations in the last year.   He said: "What concerns us in this case and is certainly a problem across the country... is the fact that it involves children and I do not think there is enough provision for children who suffer mental health issues and need to be detained in an emergency situation."   The officer originally highlighted the case on Twitter, posting: "We have a 16yr old girl suffering from mental health issues held in police custody. There are no beds available in the uk! #unacceptable".    But he told Sky News he did not fear for his job, adding: "I don't think my position is at risk. We're just stating the facts -  I think that is my job.   "I have a duty of care over all prisoners who come into the custody blocks in Devon and Cornwall and therefore I think I need to flag it up and do something about it when we are frustrated."   Labour's shadow health minister Luciana Berger said the case was an "an appalling reflection of the crisis in mental health services under the current Government".   She said: "This sad situation is becoming worryingly common. People shouldn't face the indignity of being kept in police cells when they are at their most vulnerable.   "The Government promised parity for mental health services, yet we're going backwards. In recent years, they have suffered more than other NHS services and are falling deeper and deeper into crisis."   http://news.sky.com/story/1382785/girl-in-police-custody-as-no-nhs-beds-available   Edit: Link to video interview with ACC Netherton http://news.sky.com/video/1382814/nhs-beds-problem-across-country

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