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Simulation training for Police and Ambulance Services: improving care for people with mental health needs
  1. Megan Fisher1,
  2. Anupama Vishwas1,
  3. Sean Cross2,3,
  4. Chris Attoe2,3
  1. 1 Maudsley Simulation, South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust, London, UK
  2. 2 Maudsley Learning, South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust, London, UK
  3. 3 Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience, King’s College London, London, UK
  1. Correspondence to Chris Attoe, Maudsley Learning, Lambeth Hospital, London, SW9 9NT, UK; chris.attoe{at}kcl.ac.uk

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Background

Deinstitutionalisation and pressures on mental health services globally have caused a shift of care from inpatient services into community-based settings.1 To ensure safe delivery of high-quality care, it is important for different agencies and organisations working with people in a mental health crisis to adopt a more joined-up approach.

Police and Ambulance Services are often the frontline professionals helping those experiencing a mental health crisis, a theme evident in healthcare systems globally. Despite this growing trend within these professions, there is a lack of effective and appropriate training around mental health. Calls have been made internationally for police force training on mental health conditions, suicide prevention and interagency working, developed in partnership with experts.2 Similarly for ambulance services in the UK and first responders internationally, further training has been recommended on mental capacity and applying mental health legislation, among other challenges relating to supporting people in mental health crises.3

Importantly, from a patient’s perspective, the knowledge, confidence, and ability of the Police and Ambulance Services to recognise and support those experiencing a mental health crisis is likely to have a significant impact on their experience and care received.

The benefits of interprofessional simulation as an educational intervention have been well described, including improvements in team working and collaborative …

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Footnotes

  • Contributors All authors contributed to the preparation and editing of the manuscript.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; internally peer reviewed.

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