Wednesday, 31 August 2016

Ever Decreasing Circles

I notice that the Government has finally got around to recognising the serious lack of emergency mental provision and are taking steps to relieve the police of some responsibility in this area. The Home Office press release can be found on their website and this is from the Nursing in Practice website:-

Government announces funding for 41 mental health ‘safe places’

The Government has released the first wave of funding for mental health “places of safety” in a bid to keep the mentally ill out of police cells. Some 41 projects will benefit from a share of the £15 million fund to improve provision of mental health shelters.

The Department of Health is looking to put an end to situations that see people experiencing mental health crises, and having committed no crime, being placed in police cells. The Government estimates that hundreds of people are locked in cells every year because the proper health services are not available in time. The first wave of bids, totalling £6.1 million, has been awarded to 15 NHS trusts and partnership organisations covering 11 police force areas.

The full list covers Avon and Somerset, Cleveland, Derbyshire, Devon and Cornwall, Essex, Lincolnshire, Nottinghamshire, South Yorkshire, Sussex, West Yorkshire, and Wiltshire police force areas. Projects include new section 136 suites, crisis cafés, triage vehicles and places of safety for children and young people. The projects have been focused where use of police cells as a place of safety has previously been amongst the highest in the country.

Jeremy Hunt, health secretary, said: “This government is committed to ending the scandal of people in crisis being locked up in police cells. “When a person is experiencing a mental health crisis they need the right care, in the right place and at the right time. We are fully committed to improving mental health services across the country and these projects will help support people at a crucial time.”

The Government has also opened the bidding process for the remaining £8.9 million of funding to the rest of England. Through local Crisis Care Concordat groups, organisations including mental health trusts, clinical commissioning groups, police forces, local authorities and the voluntary and community sector can bid for the funding here. The funding can be used for refurbishments of existing places of safety, building new places of safety and creating mental health crisis cafés, among other things.

Amber Rudd, home secretary, said: “We have seen good progress on our manifesto commitment to reduce the use of cells, with numbers dropping by 32% across England and Wales in just one year. But there is still more to do, and the 41 projects announced today will provide vital facilities for those in crisis to ensure they get the compassionate care and support they need.

“The police should never be the default response for someone experiencing a mental health crisis. And we are going further, bringing important changes to legislation through the Policing and Crime Bill to ensure that police cells are only used as a place of safety for adults in exceptional circumstances, and will ban their use altogether for under 18s.”

Vicki Nash, head of policy and campaigns at Mind, the mental health charity, said the announcement was “welcome”. She said: “When you are in crisis you need to be in an appropriate, safe, therapeutic environment, not treated like a criminal. This funding will help provide more suitable places to take people in some areas, and we look forward to future announcements detailing how the rest of the £15m will reach frontline services, urgently, to ensure people in crisis get the help they need, when they need it.”

However, she added that the Policing and Crime Bill “doesn’t go far enough”. She continued: “We believe no one should end up in a police cell when they are in a mental health crisis and we are calling on the Government to take the opportunity presented by the Policing and Crime Bill to ban the practice altogether.”


Am I missing something here, but isn't this just applying a bit of temporary sticking plaster to the fundamental problem of insufficient core revenue funding? These flashy new facilities will all have to be funded somehow on a regular year-on-year basis, and how is that going to be achieved? Hang on - the problem only arose in the first place because there was insufficient core revenue funding for mental health provision..... 


  1. It'll be right. They'll transfer ownership of all the new £6.1M facilities to local CRCs and then they can clear the backlog of UPW placements by getting them to staff the s.136 suites. And they have a cunning plan for those areas where the facilities don't already exist "The Government has also opened the bidding process for the remaining £8.9 million of funding to the rest of England."

    In the meantime, I wonder how this sits with those who were lied to when they specifically voted to leave the EU in order to retain £300M a week for the NHS? We won't be leaving before the end of this Parliament - in fact I doubt Article 50 will ever be submitted. Another case of smoke & mirrors by the political classes? What is the Brexit fiasco hiding?


  3. Jim this blog is toothless. It couldn't succeed in stopping TR. IL is still in post. The blog couldn't influence the nspo chair elections. Time to end the blog and accept what has happened

    1. As far as I'm concerned the role of the blog has been as a tool to record the debate & document the reality of the omnishambles that the TR project is - and the blog continues to do that regardless of trolls, naysayers or fantasists.

      When the leeches have drained the public purse dry & there are no public services left, this blog will be a useful source of reference.

    2. I think it is a future record of the balls up that is TR. How society and government lost its way.

    3. 20.02 has valid points. It's over. The blog couldn't stop it and has no influence over anything.not even napo. The blog is just people rambling

  4. After being put out to grass by Sodexo last year, I wonder if they claimed my pay award in arrears & pocketed it for themselves?

    Anyone at MoJ/NOMS reading this & feel like checking if the backdated pay awards for those staff kicked into touch were claimed & trousered by Sodexo?

    1. You've had your poppy so move on and stop trying to take all the time. Remember why you joined. It was to give not take

  5. To 20.48.
    Yes, Sodexo trousered the pay rise for many of their employees who were, as you so politely put it - "put out to grass". I am one of many who left but who had worked the entire year April 1st 2015 to 31st March 2016 and theoretically were due the back dated pay rise. However as I, and others, had already signed the paperwork for the voluntary redundancy (another fine euphemism)to accept a sum in "full and final settlement" they would not pay the pay rise but you can bet they claimed it from MoJ as we were still "on the books" at that time.

    Is it fair? - no
    Can we do anything about it? - no
    All I hope is that Sodexo management sleep well at night knowing they screwed many people not once, but twice over payments due to them.

    Where were the unions whilst this was happening? - who knows

    1. I'm not sure about that. A colleague is retiring with a JE dispute running and has been told by the GMP fund that if it goes in his favour he sill be entitled, in his absence,to the related employer pension contributions as a result of any backdated pay. Might be worth a free 1/2 hour with an Employment lawyer, just to check.

    2. I'm fed up of hearing people complain they didn't get a fair deal from Sodexo when they agreed to the payment. More fool you for signing for less than was originally promised. You accepted it so suck it up and shut up.

    3. Anon@10:24 - no-one above is asking for anything other than their legal entitlements, e.g. the benefit of pension & NI contributions. The issue initially raised seems to have been that Sodexo may well be pocketing monies that was never theirs, i.e. backdated pay for staff - and as such its yet another cash grabbing exercise that merits exposure & recognition. People who took the Sodexo offer are no doubt well aware of what they agreed to and I'm fairly sure they don't need life coaching from an intolerant bully.

  6. Sodexo!

    Sorry, just wanted to see if just the mention of them would get our friend to come out from under his bridge.

  7. Don't worry people - all is not lost. Working Links are working on their bids to get into Healthcare. Hurrah!

    Yes I am being sarcastic but it is true.

  8. Anonymous at 10.24
    Thanks for the understanding comments but people were made to sign their "full and final" settlement paperwork long before they even knew that the pay rise was going to be paid at the end of March. There was virtually no notice of the pay rise (2 days at the very end of March if memory is correct) and Sodexo pressurised people to sign their documents long before this by enforcing spurious dates for completion - sign by this date or else you won't get any money at all. Solicitor's advice was to take the money on offer rather than risk nothing at all so yes, more fool me, and many others. No-one at all within the CRC or the MoJ or NOMS was prepared to assist and no sign of a union prepared to go into battle. What would you have done?