Mental Health Hub Launched by PCC

PCC Kathryn Holloway has launched the Mental Health Hub (MHH) — an exciting new venture, jointly funded by the Commissioner and East London Foundation Trust (ELFT), which brings together mental health professionals and police colleagues in response to those experiencing a mental health crisis.

The Mental Health Hub has three core aspects:

- A mental health nurse within Bedfordshire's Force Contact Centre (the control room) to deal directly with callers who are in crisis and provide support plus tactical advice to police officers, as well as coaching and guidance for all call handlers in the management of mental health related callers.

- A mental health nurse within the Signpost Victim Support Hub, to also deal directly with callers with mental health issues and offer support and guidance to colleagues dealing with those affected by crime who are in crisis.

- Serenity Integrated Mentoring (SIM) providing nominated officers and mental health workers for the most frequent users of emergency services, often as a result of high-risk mental health-related issues that may result in a service user being sectioned

“In practice, SIM means every one of the most frequent callers to police and other blue light services and users of those services will have a dedicated police officer and mental health worker, thanks to the agreement with the health service provider ELFT. Not only will this lead to a far better pathway to care for the individual service users but, with this support, SIM can drastically reduce crisis calls and other high-risk events, including police deployments, ambulance call-outs, A&E attendances and mental health bed admissions, with all the associated costs - both actual to the services and emotional to the person in crisis,” said the PCC.

“I’m always determined to make sure that those who use a service help to design it and this has been no different with those who’ve actually been sectioned repeatedly when in crisis, helping us to create SIM from scratch,” she said.

Superintendent Jaki Whittred, Bedfordshire Police's lead for mental health, said: “Although the SIM model has been operating within other forces, we believe that by aligning it with placement of the mental health nurses, this is an opportunity for a truly integrated response, with the key aim of early detection, prevention of mental health crisis, reduction in use of police time when dealing with MH related calls, and improving the experience for the service user.”

A special award was given to the team behind the Mental Health Hub for its work in bringing the idea to life at an event held at Wrest Park, Silsoe, on Tuesday (2 July).

  • The Commissioner has also launched her charity of the year - the £1.5m appeal to complete a much needed helipad at the Luton and Dunstable Hospital. Contributions to the Luton and Dunstable Hospital Helipad Appeal can be made at