Norman Lamb

Case study: Dorset street triage and liaison scheme

Case study

The Dorset Liaison and Diversion scheme has continued to evolve alongside street triage over the last 12 months. The street triage project is an ongoing initiative that sees police and mental health services work together to ensure people get appropriate care when police are called to a person in distress 

They have gained a better understanding of the characteristics of those they detain under section 136 of the Mental Health Act, following research by Bournemouth University.

The following factors were identified:

  • Suicidal thoughts 79%
  • Mental health issues 79%
  • Alcohol and drug issues 56%
  • Interpersonal relationship issues 45%
  • Accommodation issues 16%
  • Bereavement 8%
  • Job issues 7%
  • Physical illness 3%

The study has given valuable insights into complex needs. Given the range of factors involved, the report indicated that a holistic approach to service provision was needed. A multi-agency commissioning group has recently been established in Dorset that includes a range of health and care services. One of the key challenges they face is that thresholds for referral are high. Their response has been to plan and commission more preventative services, often in close collaboration with the third sector, such as providing a support worker to those who appear regularly in custody.

Last updated: 05 May 2016