Online from: 1999
Subject Area: Health and Social Care
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|Title:||Mental health and custody: a follow on study|
|Author(s):||Ian Cummins, (Senior Lecturer in Social Work in the School of Nursing, Midwifery and Social Work, University of Salford, Salford, UK)|
|Citation:||Ian Cummins, (2012) "Mental health and custody: a follow on study", Journal of Adult Protection, The, Vol. 14 Iss: 2, pp.73 - 81|
|Keywords:||Adult protection, Forensic physicians, Mental health services, Police custody, Safeguarding, Vulnerable adults|
|Article type:||Research paper|
|DOI:||10.1108/14668201211217521 (Permanent URL)|
|Publisher:||Emerald Group Publishing Limited|
Purpose – The purpose of the paper is to report the findings of a small scale indicative research project. The project explores the assessment of detained persons in police custody by Forensic Physicians (FP).
Design/methodology/approach – A range of information was collected in every case where custody staff had identified a mental health concern and requested an FP assessment. As well as information about demographic factors, this would include questions regarding any links that the individuals had with community-based mental health services. As well as this information, anonymous custody records and force adverse incident records for the month were examined.
Findings – In the month of the project, 59 FP assessments were requested. Only six members of this group had any contact with community-based mental health services: two with a social worker, two with a CPN and two with a psychiatrist. Of this group, three had not been in contact with mental health services for over a month.
Research limitations/implications – The size of the cohort and variety of arrangements for providing nursing and social care support in custody settings may limit the generalisation of the findings.
Practical implications – This study highlights that there is a group of individuals whose mental health causes concern to the police in a custody environment. In this study, the overwhelming majority of the group have no contact with mental health services. The research supports the recommendations of the Bradley Review for wider health care provision in custody settings.
Originality/value – The paper highlights that fully effective community mental health services need to consider police custody settings as a key point for intervention.
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