Right Care, Right Person: everything you need to know

In this blog, we offer a Right Care, Right Person UK government initiative which aims to reduce reliance on the police when it comes to supporting individuals with mental health problems. 

In this blog, we provide a summary of the agreement which you can also read in full here should you wish. 

Overview

When individuals experience a mental health crisis, timely and compassionate support is crucial. While police involvement is necessary in some cases, it should only occur when there is a real risk to life, serious harm, or a potential crime, and it should be brief. Excessive police involvement can hinder their other duties and result in poorer experiences for those with mental health needs.

Objectives

The initiative, called the Crisis Care Concordat, is a commitment from multiple government agencies, including the Home Office, Department of Health & Social Care, National Police Chiefs’ Council, Association of Police and Crime Commissioners, and NHS England, to reduce inappropriate police involvement in mental health crisis response.

The RCRP Approach (Right Care, Right Person)

This approach aims to ensure individuals with mental health needs receive care from the right professionals. It involves a clear threshold for police response, which includes investigating crimes or protecting individuals when there is an immediate risk to life or serious harm.

Implementation

The RCRP approach is being adopted in many areas across England. Strong partnerships are formed between police, health bodies, and local authorities to tailor the approach to local needs. Detailed guidance is being provided to assist with the operational delivery of RCRP.

Local partnership working

Cross-agency partnerships are essential for successful RCRP implementation. These partnerships should prioritise patient safety and engagement with communities, particularly those from ethnic minorities and other specific needs groups.

Universal access to mental health advice

The public and professionals should have access to 24/7 advice, assessment, and treatment from mental health professionals, reducing reliance on the police as a first point of contact.

Reducing police involvement

The initiative aims to end police involvement in various situations, such as initial crisis response, welfare checks for individuals already in contact with mental health services, missing persons cases, and conveyance in police vehicles.

Timely handovers

Efforts are being made to minimise delays in transferring care from police to mental health services, aiming for a one-hour timeframe, unless agreed otherwise on a case-by-case basis.

Data collection and sharing

Agencies are encouraged to share data to understand local mental health needs, police involvement, and the impact of RCRP, especially for disadvantaged groups.

National support

National tools, guidance, and evaluation are being developed to support the local implementation of RCRP, ensuring consistency and best practices are followed across the country.

What does this mean for social workers? 

Several social workers have raised concerns about the roll-out of Right Care, Right Person and have said that it could put already vulnerable social workers at greater risk of abuse. 

Just last week a social worker was punched at work after police attendance was denied for a client assessment. 

All social workers have the right to feel safe at work. Here at Social Personnel, our dedicated team is here for you and happy to help with any issues you may have.

Give us a call on 0203 8929 340 for any enquiries and make sure to keep an eye on our blog for the latest industry news. 

carlette Isaac

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