New mental health suite opens in Lincoln
A new unit for mental health patients in Lincoln means they can avoid police custody.
The Section 136 suite is at the Peter Hodgkinson Centre and will assess vulnerable people who have been found ina public place by police.
It is a joint venture between Lincolnshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust and Lincolnshire Police, serving the whole county.
Trust general manager for adult services, Mary Quint, said: "The Royal College of Psychiatrists recommend that every mental health in-patient service has a section 136 suite, so the opening of this unit is a really positive step. "It is important that people assessed under section 136 are received in a suitable environment, and seen by approved mental health professionals. PHC is a more appropriate place than the police station."
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Police spokesperson, Inspector Jon Morris, said: "This development represents a significant advance in providing prompt and effective help to this vulnerable group of people.
"A police station, as a place of safety for holding and assessment is not the most appropriate for people suffering acute mental health issues." At the unit individuals will be assessed by a doctor and an approved mental health professional who will determine the next course of action. Trust acute care manager, Jon George-Jones added: "We aim to assess people between two to four hours after which individuals will either be sent home if appropriate possibly with home treatment or admitted to the wards within PHC."