We are working with partner agencies as we look to begin implementing Right Care Right Person from February 2024, following the launch of a national partnership agreement that seeks to ensure that police officers are deployed only to appropriate health incidents.
Right Care Right Person is a national programme that aims to ensure that health-related calls into police forces are responded to by the most appropriate agency, rather than the police, who in many cases are not the best organisation to respond. This particularly relates to calls made to police forces around concerns for welfare, be that mental health, medical or social care-related.
We have begun discussions with relevant partner agencies to ensure that the necessary protocols and commitments are put in place ahead of implementation. This includes additional training for our contact staff, to ensure that calls which are not best placed for us to deal with are diverted to the appropriate agency, with the training and skills to best respond to the incident.
The new approach will mean police stop attending many health incidents, unless there is a significant safety risk or crime being committed. Instead, contact staff will refer these to an appropriate partner agency, for example mental health services.
Assistant Chief Constable Stuart Ellison said: “I want our communities to be reassured that we will always be here to protect you and will always attend incidents where there is a threat to life. Right Care Right Person is about ensuring that vulnerable people receive the right care which we are not always best placed to provide, and where our attendance can in some cases exacerbate the incident, with the person feeling criminalised when what they need is specialist help.
“We’re absolutely committed to making Right Care Right Person a success, and will be closely working with our partners in health and social care. We all want to achieve the same goal of ensuring people receive the care and expertise they need from the right agency.”
Right Care Right Person will be introduced in a staged approach.