Sussex Police to progress new health and welfare support system - 'Will choose the right staff'

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The second step of a new initiative, to better target help and welfare support for people in Sussex, has gone live.

In April, Sussex Police and health and social care organisations launched a new initiative to better target help and welfare support for people in Sussex.

Right Care Right Person (RCRP) is designed to ensure that when there are concerns for a person’s welfare linked to mental health, medical, or social care issues, the right person with the right skills, training and experience will respond.

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Today (Wednesday, May 15) the second phase of RCRP has gone live in Sussex.

Sussex Police (Stock image / National World)Sussex Police (Stock image / National World)
Sussex Police (Stock image / National World)

A police spokesperson said: “This next step may change how people who abscond and/or walk out from hospitals are supported by the police, and will change how healthcare organisations support these vulnerable people.

"For the police, there will be a new way of assessing each person’s case, and together, services will choose the right staff to respond and support the person in question.

"This will mean that routine police involvement in managing instances of missing persons from mental health facilities, and walkouts of people from other health facilities (e.g., the Emergency Department), will be minimised, and healthcare professionals from other organisations will respond to support these people.

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"However, there will be no change to police responses when someone is in immediate danger, where there is a real and immediate risk to life, where a crime or potential crime is involved, or where there is a need to protect partner agency colleagues and the wider public.”

In Sussex, there have been many months of ‘collaborative preparatory work’ between Sussex Police, NHS, local authorities and third sector organisations for the launch of RCRP.

It is a national police programme being rolled out across the UK, as part of ongoing work between police forces, health providers, and local and national government.

A police spokesperson added: “Similar schemes have already been adopted by forces in Humberside, Lincolnshire, Hampshire, and the Metropolitan Police. This new way of working will be delivered in phases over the coming months.”

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If you feel like you ‘can’t cope and need help with your mental health’, the police said you can get same-day or next day help by:

– Calling NHS 111 and select the mental health option (available 24/7);

– Calling the Samaritans on 116 123 (available 24/7);

– Texting the word SUSSEX to 85258 (available 24/7);

– Visiting a Staying Well service in Brighton, Crawley, Eastbourne, Hastings and Worthing

If your life – or someone else’s life – is in immediate danger, call 999. For information on local support services available in your area visit

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