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MP welcomes mental health agreement but says services in Burton could be improved

By Burton Mail  |  Posted: February 20, 2014

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BURTON MP Andrew Griffiths has joined Staffordshire Police and Crime Commissioner Matthew Ellis in welcoming the news that the number of cases where people having a mental health crisis are being detained in police cells is to be halved.

However he also voiced concern that since the closure of the Margaret Stanhope Centre, the facilities for assisting those suffering from mental health issues in Burton still need to be improved.

He told the Mail: “I am really pleased that the home secretary reached this decision on mental health care.”

“However I continue to be concerned about the provision of mental health care in Burton, especially when people reach crisis point. In my opinion the Margaret Stanhope Centre should never have been closed.”

“I have seen in my own surgeries cases where ill people have had to be kept in police cells when they should be in mental health facilities for their own wellbeing.

“Keeping people with mental health issues in cells is first of all not good for the patient and second of all it taking up the use of police resources.”

Figures released last year revealed that around one in five incidents Staffordshire Police was alerted to involved someone with mental health issues.

An agreement signed by 22 national health organisations including the Department of Health, the Home Office and mental health charity Mind is aimed at improving the treatment of people having a mental health crisis.

The ‘crisis care concordat’ states that police custody should not be used because mental health services are unavailable and that police cars should not be used as ambulances to transfer patients, as well as calling for more beds and secure shelter.

Staffordshire Police and Crime Comisssioner Matthew Ellis said the report also highlighted a lack of joined-up services and appropriate support.

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