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Mental health pilot cruises to parliamentary awards final

A new pilot mental health service for people experiencing a crisis has reached the finals of the NHS Parliamentary Awards, after being crowned North West champion.

The mental health joint response service is a collaboration between Pennine Care NHS Foundation Trust’s mental health teams in Bury, Oldham, Rochdale, Stockport and Tameside, along with Greater Manchester Police (GMP) and North West Ambulance Service NHS Trust (NWAS).

The pilot sees one of Pennine Care’s mental health clinicians and a police officer attending incidents where someone is experiencing a mental health crisis. The service runs from 5pm to 1am, seven days a week.

Their work means local people quickly receive the right support, in the right place. The clinician can assess patients at the scene to ensure every appropriate community-based care option is considered, so that A&E, or an admission to a secure section 136 suite (place of safety) are a last resort for those who really need it.  

The service was picked ahead of hundreds of submissions from across the North West for the ‘excellence in mental health’ category. 

The annual awards were launched in 2018, to celebrate the NHS’ 70th birthday, and recognise the outstanding contribution of staff, volunteers and others working across the health and care sector, in local communities.

Karen Maneely, network director of operations for Pennine Care NHS Foundation Trust, said: “On behalf of the partners, I’d like to thank Oldham MP Jim McMahon for putting us forward for this award. We’re absolutely delighted to be crowned the North West excellence in mental health award winner. The service is having such a positive impact, so we’re pleased to have the opportunity to share our learning nationally.  

“Developing the service has been a real labour of love for me, but it wouldn’t have been possible without the expertise and commitment of everyone involved. This includes the mental health practitioners and officers who provide frontline care, the myriad support staff who plough away behind the scenes and the leads who helped break down barriers and drive forward the project.

“The success of the Oldham and Tameside pilot has led to the service being rolled out across all five of Pennine Care’s boroughs. We’re committed to building on this success, so we can continue to provide the right care to people experiencing a mental health crisis and better support their family and friends.”

People of any age who need mental health advice or support can phone Pennine Care’s 24/7 helpline on 0800 014 9995.

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