New staff will be recruited to work at a Lynn mental health unit thanks to a £350,000 investment.
Officials from the clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) for West, North and South Norfolk, as well as Norwich, have joined forces to fund 11 specialist workers for the Fermoy unit at the town’s Queen Elizabeth Hospital and the Hellesdon Hospital in Norwich.
The new staff will work in areas that specifically look after patients who have been detained for their own safety under the Mental Health Act.
Health managers say that around 24 people need that sort of care in Norfolk every month.
And Dr Duncan Edwards, of the South Norfolk CCG, said: “Being detained by the police during a mental health crisis is a medical emergency.
“This new investment will allow the NHS in Norfolk to get help to these patients quickly, in a healthcare environment.”
The new staff are currently being recruited by the Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust, who says the investment will allow police to return to their duties more quickly, and reduce the need to divert other mental health staff away from their work.
Jenny McKibben, the county’s deputy police and crime commissioner, said: “This is a fantastic partnership between policing and mental health.
“The new suites are part of a much wider initiative to improve support for people with mental health needs who come into contact with the police, freeing up police time and resources in the process.
“We continue to drive improved coordination between agencies so that vulnerable people get the help they need at the earliest opportunity.”
Chf Insp Amanda Ellis, of Norfolk Police, added: “The quality of the care received by those individuals detained is of utmost importance to us and this will be greatly improved with the changes”