A PLAN has been put in place by North West Ambulance Service (NWAS) to support patients living with mental health issues and dementia.

The new Mental Health and Dementia Strategic Plan has been launched to deliver the right care at the right time and place.

It details 17 recommendations which all aim to shape and transform mental health and dementia care within the trust over the next three years.

One example is to review and learn from the mental health triage car pilots currently taking place within Merseyside and Lancashire while looking to secure funding to widen this service.

The current pilot operating in Lancashire is called Psynergy and was launched last December in Blackpool, Fylde and Wyre.

It involves a paramedic, a senior mental health nurse from Lancashire Care and a police officer all coming together in one vehicle to jointly respond to people experiencing a mental health crisis.

The aim is to provide appropriate triage, offer the right care and advice, improve patient experience and avoid unnecessary hospital admissions.

The pilot has already proven to improve outcomes for appropriate patients, and results in better use of ambulance resources and multi-agency working, ultimately leading to financial benefit to the wider NHS.

Gill Drummond, Mental Health and Dementia lead for NWAS said: “The work regarding mental health and dementia care already being undertaken by the trust is fantastic, but there is so much more we can do to.

"The number of related 999 calls is increasing significantly, which is why one of the trust’s key priority areas is to improve care in this area, and why we have developed a plan to take this forward.”

For more information about the Mental Health and Dementia Strategic Plan visit https://www.nwas.nhs.uk/publications/mental-health-and-dementia-strategic-plan-2019-2022-2/