News story

Government announces successful bids to £15 million mental health fund

Forty-one projects awarded funding for places of safety for people in mental health crisis.

Forty-one projects will benefit from a share of £15 million to improve provision of mental health places of safety, the government announced today.

The Department of Health funding is supporting the creation of new places of safety and the refurbishment of existing sites, to prevent people experiencing a mental health crisis, who have committed no crime, from being placed in a police cell.

The government wants to see an end to the unacceptable situation in which hundreds of people in crisis are being locked up in police cells each year because health services are not available in time. When a person is experiencing a mental health crisis they need the right care, in the right place and too often the only safe place available is a police cell – somewhere which often exacerbates the crisis.

The first wave of bids, totalling £6.1 million, have been awarded to 15 NHS trusts and partnership organisations covering 11 police force areas. They have been focused where use of police cells as a place of safety has previously been amongst the highest in the country.

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt said:

This government is committed to ending the scandal of people in crisis being locked up in police cells.

When a person is experiencing a mental health crisis they need the right care, in the right place and at the right time. We are fully committed to improving mental health services across the country and these projects will help support people at a crucial time.

The full list of successful wave one bids covers Avon and Somerset, Cleveland, Derbyshire, Devon and Cornwall, Essex, Lincolnshire, Nottinghamshire, South Yorkshire, Sussex, West Yorkshire, and Wiltshire police force areas. Projects include new section 136 suites, crisis cafés, triage vehicles and places of safety for children and young people.

The government has also opened the bidding process for the remaining £8.9 million of funding to the rest of England. Through local Crisis Care Concordat groups, organisations including mental health trusts, clinical commissioning groups, police forces, local authorities and the voluntary and community sector can bid for the funding.

Home Secretary Amber Rudd said:

We have seen good progress on our manifesto commitment to reduce the use of cells, with numbers dropping by 32 per cent across England and Wales in just one year. But there is still more to do, and the 41 projects announced today will provide vital facilities for those in crisis to ensure they get the compassionate care and support they need.

The police should never be the default response for someone experiencing a mental health crisis.

And we are going further, bringing important changes to legislation through the Policing and Crime Bill to ensure that police cells are only used as a place of safety for adults in exceptional circumstances, and will ban their use altogether for under 18s.

The funding can be used for:

  • refurbishments or improvements to existing health-based places of safety, for example to increase capacity
  • building new places of safety
  • making existing places of safety suitable for use for people aged 18 and under
  • creating mental health crisis cafés or places of calm
  • ambulances for transportation to places of safety to ensure a police car is not used
  • vehicles for mobile street triage services for responding to mental health crises in the community

Wave one successful bidders

Types of facilities proposed Where Total cost Organisation(s) leading the scheme
A new 4 bed health-based place of safety for use across the county Avon and Wiltshire £320,000 Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership Trust
A place of calm for children and young people Barnsley £23,500 Barnsley Clinical Commissioning Group
A crisis safe space and section 136 suite for adults, young people and children at Millview Hospital Brighton and Hove £223,500 Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust
A new adult health-based place of safety and crisis vehicles for driving vulnerable people across the East Midlands Derbyshire £695,000 Derby and Derbyshire Crisis Care Concordat group
A new health-based place of safety for children and young people at Torbay hospital; a new health-based place of safety for adults in Exeter; a safe place within the existing paediatric ward at Torbay hospital’s accident and emergency department; integrating children’s services into early help bases Devon, Torbay and Plymouth £555,000 Torbay and South Devon NHS Trust; Devon Partnership NHS Trust
Urgent mental health care lounges in Eastbourne District General Hospital and the Woodlands Centre for Psychiatry in Hastings East Sussex £190,000 Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust
Upgrading health-based places of safety across 6 Essex locations including Basildon, Chelmsford, Colchester, Harlow and Rochford Essex £818,500 North & South Essex Partnership University NHS Foundation Trusts
A new psychiatric decision making unit; a rapid response vehicle for street triage; a new child and adolescent mental health (CAMHS) section 136 suite Lincolnshire £406,000 Lincolnshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust
A new crisis house offering short stay support in a safe and supportive environment for people in crisis North Somerset £500,000 Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership Trust
A crisis café; a new psychiatric decision making unit; refurbishment to an existing health-based place of safety in Nottingham; street triage vehicles for use across the East Midlands Nottingham £586,000 Nottinghamshire Healthcare Foundation Trust; East Midlands Ambulance Service NHS Trust
A new place of safety for children and young people; a new mental health assessment suite at the Northern General Hospital; refurbishment to the existing adult place of safety at Fulwood House in Sheffield; crisis café for young people Sheffield £467,000 Sheffield Children’s Hospital NHS Foundation Trust; Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust; Sheffield Health and Social Care NHS Foundation Trust; Sheffield Futures (charity)
Mental health urgent care base covering Hartlepool, Middlesbrough, Redcar, Cleveland and Stockton on Tees Teesside £674,000 Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys NHS Foundation Trust
A street triage vehicle to operate across West Sussex; a new place of safety and de-escalation facility for children and young people; new crisis café in Bognor Regis; refurbishments to improve access to mental health support at Worthing General Hospital, St Richards General Hospital and Langley Green Hospital West Sussex £223,000 Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust
A new safe space in Wakefield for people for people in crisis; rebuilding a health-based place of safety in Kirklees; street triage vehicle to operate across West Yorkshire; improvements to mental health crisis liaison facilities for children and young people across Wakefield , Kirklees and Leeds West Yorkshire £422,000 South West Yorkshire Partnerships Foundation Trust; Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust