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A request for insight regarding S136 MHA


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#1 Bynti

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Posted 17 January 2013 - 11:41 PM

I am currently doing some informal research (first stages), regarding the 136 MHA, and would like some help from any POs paticularly if you have experience in this area. I am hoping to gain a better understanding of what officers can and do experience.

You may like to know that I am working within the NHS as a volunteer in mental health, and that the work I do is to help towards positive changes for both service users and the wider community.

If you can help  me with this post,your experiences, insights and feedback would be greatly  appreciated.

Thank you

Angie



#2 znra251

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Posted 18 January 2013 - 12:40 AM

what officers generally experience is staff within the 136 suite who either don't care or are simply so overworked that they don't do their job to anywhere near the standard expected

 

The best example I can give to evidence this is when a s136 PATIENT is taken to the suite by police we have an agreed policy which states that a joint risk assessment will be conducted and then the patient handed over to staff. I have never ever known staff to supervise a patient in any way. Normally they disappear back to the ward and remain there until the procedures are complete. 

 

Essentially the person remains in the custody of the police while in a hospital because staff do not wish to take responsibility. Police officers are increasingly criticised due to our poor knowledge in relation to mental health but ultimately there is only so much we can do when met with so little by the apparent professionals.

 

Staff members will routinely state that they do not have the staff available to supervise a s136 patient although they are at a dedicated s136 suite. This means the patient gets no interaction with anyone trained in mental health other than during their often brief assessment, no chance to talk to a qualified professional or anything like this.despite it being written down in black and white that the staff are meant to supervise and engage with the patient.

 

Then there is the complete lack of caring among ward staff. Patients go missing and are reported missing hours later with such vague details from staff there is little the police can do to find them. Suicidal patients often walk out as they are unsupervised.

 

I know all the other officers I work with have no problem supporting the nhs staff but especially with s136 patients it feels a lot less like support and a lot more like covering for someone else who isn't available for whatever reason.



#3 Bynti

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Posted 18 January 2013 - 01:28 AM

Thank you so much for that   znra.

 2 weeks ago I had little if any knowledge about the issues surounding 136, they appear to be complex and problematic for most people involved.

 

 

 

Essentially the person remains in the custody of the police while in a hospital because staff do not wish to take responsibility. Police officers are increasingly criticised due to our poor knowledge in relation to mental health but ultimately there is only so much we can do when met with so little by the apparent professionals.

 

 

 

.

.

Criticism of police officers in this way is not helpful for anyone involved.

It is my understanding that a police officer is given 2 days training with regard to mental health issues if this is the case does that include familiairzsation and training with regard to a  136 ?

And can I ask if you have had to use the 136 in your general duties  ?



#4 SimonT

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Posted 18 January 2013 - 10:44 AM

Because of where i have worked i have detained probably about 50 or more people under 136 and a few under the mental capacity act. The legislation is quite clear but is stacked against what we are expected to do by the public and the job, often forcing our hands and making the law bend in horrible ways.

 

I have been to several 136 suites and the experience has been pretty horiffic every time. There is such a huge list of resons they reject the person, making almost every detention a custody only option. We then have some criticism for not using the suites, which is hilarious. The staff are completly dissengaged, uninterested and lack motovation. Im sure they have a lot going on, but so do we and we are able to be competent and professional.

 

We are often called back to suites in order to help the suite staff as they couldnt handle the person. only for us to speak to them and explain what was going on and them calmd down immediately.

 

We occasionally have an e learning package on mental health that is mostly useless. But front line officers deal with MH issues every day, we know what we are doing because its what we do all the time,.



#5 Traffic Rat

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Posted 18 January 2013 - 01:01 PM

Fomal input on S136 in the past 23 years service, about 2 Hours Total.  No on line learning, practical on the job learning, many,many hours.

 

If you are on Twitter try following @mentalhealthcop - Insp Michael Brown of West Midlands police



#6 Bynti

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Posted 20 January 2013 - 10:44 PM

Hi Simon,

thank you for your post and for outlining some of the complexities of detainment under the 136/MCA.

 

I understand the MHA (2007) was to help amend the 1983.

 

I can confirm that I have had similer responses from service users.

 

 

 

 

 

Because of where i have worked i have detained probably about 50 or more people under 136 and a few under the mental capacity act. The legislation is quite clear but is stacked against what we are expected to do by the public and the job, often forcing our hands and making the law bend in horrible ways.

 

 

.

 

We occasionally have an e learning package on mental health that is mostly useless. But front line officers deal with MH issues every day, we know what we are doing because its what we do all the time,.

 

Your mention of an e learning package,  is this the only information you recieve  ?

You echo Traffic Rat's mention of formal learning through the work you do,( I personally  imagine this is where you gain your most valuble experience),

however, I wonder if you would benefit  from something more than an e-learning document,   would you  ?



#7 Bynti

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Posted 20 January 2013 - 11:14 PM

  Thank you Traffic Rat,

I had a feeling when I posted this request for first hand feedback that yours and Simon's accounts of on the job learning was the the kind of response I may get.

Does this mean that Pos do not recieve even the 2 days training that I mentioned in my 2nd post ? 

 

Thanks for the heads up on twitter (im not on it), but I do follow Mentalhealthcop's blog I think its excellent, however I really want to know what

the experiences of ordinary POs like yourself and Simon T are, and what practical training you are given.

 

Fomal input on S136 in the past 23 years service, about 2 Hours Total.  No on line learning, practical on the job learning, many,many hours.

 

If you are on Twitter try following @mentalhealthcop - Insp Michael Brown of West Midlands police



#8 Sectioned Detection

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Posted 21 January 2013 - 12:11 AM

Most officers have no problem with using the 136 powers until they get to the 'place of safety' at which point all bets are off. Anything that isn't straight forward becomes a nightmare where Codes of Pratice and policy are unknown by staff, not known very well or just plain ignored. Main problems are:

Waiting for beds
Patients being left unattended (after police are allowed to leave) for hours and allowed to walk out
Patients turned away for being drunk or having taken drugs

And don't get me started on the MCA or AWOL patients!

#9 popularfurball

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Posted 21 January 2013 - 09:02 AM

I work in comms - not a police officer. There are no clear boundaries between us and the ambulance detaining people. I was under the impression that the ambulance can detain under 136 - if my at least assist with assesment and transport. Reality is they are as stretched as we are and can't do this. If an ambulance does take them, 9/10 they become a missing as they are dropped off at a&e and promptly walk out. From speaking with 136 suite staff - they often are unable to pick up the phone, officers wait for ages to be let in... I can't speak for what happens inside though. All because they are too stretched also. I come from a background of nhs and learning disabilities which has a large overlap with mental health and also capacity issues. There needs to be far more training on the topic - but not e learning as I don't think it is effective enough for this area. But again no time or resources for this

Edited by popularfurball, 21 January 2013 - 09:04 AM.


#10 SimonT

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Posted 21 January 2013 - 10:19 AM

Got to say i dont think ambulance staff can detain anyone, they dont have the power. Unless i have missed something very important. 

 

They are accepted to be better judges of capacity for detaining under the mental capacity act. But its generally police who do the detaining. Mental capacity tests are simple and the result is quite clear and easy to use. Its just that we dont need to use it all that often. 

 

I dont think there is any need for police to get any more training than we do now. Its quite clear when someone has MH issues and needs to be detained. And its even more clear when someone calls us, saying they will kill themselves and we go and take them to a mh unit for assessment.

 

They dont need assessment 90% of the time, but, they called, so we go and pass on the responsibility, because thats our job. And heaven help the officer who sleeves something like that, even if there was no evidence of any mh issues and the person ends up dead. the hindsight police will be all over you.



#11 popularfurball

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Posted 21 January 2013 - 11:52 AM

Got to say i dont think ambulance staff can detain anyone, they dont have the power. Unless i have missed something very important.

They are accepted to be better judges of capacity for detaining under the mental capacity act. But its generally police who do the detaining. Mental capacity tests are simple and the result is quite clear and easy to use. Its just that we dont need to use it all that often.

I dont think there is any need for police to get any more training than we do now. Its quite clear when someone has MH issues and needs to be detained. And its even more clear when someone calls us, saying they will kill themselves and we go and take them to a mh unit for assessment.

They dont need assessment 90% of the time, but, they called, so we go and pass on the responsibility, because thats our job. And heaven help the officer who sleeves something like that, even if there was no evidence of any mh issues and the person ends up dead. the hindsight police will be all over you.


I didn't think they did but was suggested they have equal powers to use re 136 but obviously the physical restraint stuff/weapons etc is where we come in was the suggestion? Could be completely wrong.

And I also agree that where welfare is concerned, it is our role too. I am meaning where amb have already attended and request police assistance as the person requires sectioning. As above if they are violent etc I understand the requirement but what about if they are going voluntary? Surely they must be able to admit them to 136 for their safety incase they change their mind?



#12 SimonT

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Posted 21 January 2013 - 01:43 PM

Our 136 suites will not accept anyone who wants to go there.
They have to not want to go but not be violent, drunk, aggressive, injured, on any drugs and basically not exhibiting any signs of mental health issues.

For the ones who do want help their suggestion is to take them to ane and have them wait there for the 4 or more hours it takes to get an assessment there. They also suggest that police remain stop them leaving as the hospital will never do this.

But as the cuts keep coming there are less police, less space in hospital and less mental health staff.

This will inevitably lead to more suicides, more attacks by untreated mh patients on random mops and police officers.
More criticism of police for detaining people, arresting them, not arresting them, being too rough with someone being violent.

But the cuts keep coming so we have to put up with it.

#13 Bynti

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Posted 21 January 2013 - 05:06 PM

Thanks  Sectioned  Detection,

 

 and  I wouuldn't want to get myself started on the entirety of the challenges  within the NHS for treatment of mental health lol

 

I have been familarizing myself with the administering of the mental health act,and have found Mentalhealthcop's blog

'Absconding or Absent ? '  Posted by Mentalhealthcop ~ January18 2013

helpful it outlines the 2 main differences between absconding and absent (not being where you are suposed to be under the act).

 

Most officers have no problem with using the 136 powers until they get to the 'place of safety' at which point all bets are off. Anything that isn't straight forward becomes a nightmare where Codes of Pratice and policy are unknown by staff, not known very well or just plain ignored. Main problems are:

Waiting for beds
Patients being left unattended (after police are allowed to leave) for hours and allowed to walk out
Patients turned away for being drunk or having taken drugs

And don't get me started on the MCA or AWOL patients!


#14 Bynti

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Posted 21 January 2013 - 05:39 PM

 Hi Popularfurball,

 

thank you for your post, hope you'l excuse my lack of knowledge but is comms something to do with communication ?

 

I work in comms - not a police officer. There are no clear boundaries between us and the ambulance detaining people. I was under the impression that the ambulance can detain under 136 - if my at least assist with assesment and transport. Reality is they are as stretched as we are and can't do this. If an ambulance does take them, 9/10 they become a missing as they are dropped off at a&e and promptly walk out. From speaking with 136 suite staff - they often are unable to pick up the phone, officers wait for ages to be let in... I can't speak for what happens inside though. All because they are too stretched also. I come from a background of nhs and learning disabilities which has a large overlap with mental health and also capacity issues. There needs to be far more training on the topic - but not e learning as I don't think it is effective enough for this area. But again no time or resources for this

 

While I tend to feel that some knowledge is perhaps better than none I agree with you, in that I question the idea of e learning  as a practical learning tool

I was really surprised when Simon T referenced it.

You mention that  ' There needs to be more training on the topic '  do you mean all agencies or specifically the police  ?


Edited by angie101, 21 January 2013 - 08:02 PM.


#15 Sectioned Detection

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Posted 21 January 2013 - 08:21 PM

Thanks  Sectioned  Detection,
 
 and  I wouuldn't want to get myself started on the entirety of the challenges  within the NHS for treatment of mental health lol
 
I have been familarizing myself with the administering of the mental health act,and have found Mentalhealthcop's blog
'Absconding or Absent ? '  Posted by Mentalhealthcop ~ January18 2013
helpful it outlines the 2 main differences between absconding and absent (not being where you are suposed to be under the act).
 

I've the blog saved to my favourites as I'm regularly trying to explain roles and responsibilities to MH staff who haven't a clue. Apparent if they know where the AWOL patient is they just have to call us and we'll do the getting! They seem to think I'm being petulant when is say "Nope, we'll meet you there and support you!"

#16 Bynti

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Posted 21 January 2013 - 08:42 PM

I've the blog saved to my favourites as I'm regularly trying to explain roles and responsibilities to MH staff who haven't a clue. Apparent if they know where the AWOL patient is they just have to call us and we'll do the getting! They seem to think I'm being petulant when is say "Nope, we'll meet you there and support you!"

 

Good idea !

 

I thought my origional post would reveal a  simplistic response, and in many ways it has, however I have been doing a lot of research today with regard to clinitians,  practitioners, service users, accross the board really and there is so much confusion, specifically with regards to an apparent lack of fluidity

with how a person can be helped, or managed by some MH staff and others.



#17 Sectioned Detection

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Posted 21 January 2013 - 09:17 PM

High risk 136 patient is admitted on a voluntary basis on the condition that should he leave and police are called he 'agrees' to be sectioned. Patient agrees then a few hours later walks out watched by staff who claim they've now power to stop him.

Explain how that's right?

#18 Bynti

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Posted 21 January 2013 - 09:34 PM

High risk 136 patient is admitted on a voluntary basis on the condition that should he leave and police are called he 'agrees' to be sectioned. Patient agrees then a few hours later walks out watched by staff who claim they've now power to stop him.

Explain how that's right?

 

Clearly it isint and I wish that I was in a better position to do so.



#19 Sectioned Detection

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Posted 21 January 2013 - 11:07 PM

Sorry, I've just re-read my post and it seemed like I was having a go at you. That wast the case I just get somewhat frustrated with it all.

#20 Bynti

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 02:53 PM

Sorry, I've just re-read my post and it seemed like I was having a go at you. That wast the case I just get somewhat frustrated with it all.

 

Arhh........thats okay Section Detection no offense taken lol

 

I do understand that it can be a diffecult subject alround, and so I appreciate all responses to my topic.

Personally its a bit of a learning curve for me to find my voice sometimes on the forum, I am often mindful that ,our words can get 'lost in transit'

with the absence of every day expressions, the common nuances of a face to face conversation.

 

On a side note I just want to say that I have read a lot of your posts and find your often candid and informative style (for me personally)

very educational. So thanks for that :))

 

 

regards

Angie        :thumbsup:


Edited by angie101, 22 January 2013 - 02:58 PM.





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