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Costs of the police service and mental healthcare pathways experienced by individuals with enduring mental health needs

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Margaret Heslin, Lynne Callaghan, Barbara Barrett, Susan Lea, Susan Eick, John Morgan, Mark Bolt, Graham Thornicroft, Diana Rose, Andrew Healey, Anita Patel

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)157-164
Number of pages8
JournalBritish Journal of Psychiatry
Volume210
Issue number2
Early online date17 Mar 2016
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2017

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Abstract

Background Substantial policy, communication and operational gaps exist between mental health services and the police for individuals with enduring mental health needs. Aims To map and cost pathways through mental health and police services, and to model the cost impact of implementing key policy recommendations. Method Within a case-linkage study, we estimated 1-year individuallevel healthcare and policing costs. Using decision modelling, we then estimated the potential impact on costs of three recommended service enhancements: street triage, Mental Health Act assessments for all Section 136 detainees and outreach custody link workers. Results Under current care, average 1-year mental health and police costs were £10 812 and £4552 per individual respectively (n = 55). The cost per police incident was £522. Models suggested that each service enhancement would alter per incident costs by between 78% and +6%. Conclusions Recommended enhancements to care pathways only marginally increase individual-level costs.

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