Mental Health Street Triage: Comparing Experiences of Delivery across Three Sites

Matthew Callender, Laura Knight, Daniel Moloney, Valentina Lugli

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticlepeer-review


Introduction: The limited evidence on MHST is largely focused on service development and is overly police-centric dominated by narratives of risk. This article considers the interplay between officers and CPNs in practice situated within strategic and operational contexts, illustrating the importance of place to service developments and trust within practice.

Aim: This study was conducted to compare the processes, experiences, and perceptions of MHST in 3 sites in England.

Method: Semi-structured interviews were completed with 27 police and health service staff in strategic and operational roles over a three-month period in three sites in England.

Results: Four themes were identified: ‘Reducing and improving the use of mental health detainments’; ‘Importance of local contexts and partnerships’, ‘Enhancing officer confidence’; and ‘Developing street triage’.

Discussion: MHST decision-making and outcomes were influenced by issues of trust, belonging and legitimacy within the interplay between officers and nurses. Continuity and staff turnover influenced strategic and operational development. However, MHST was perceived to be an effective and cost-saving model.

Implications for practice: Mental health nurses are well positioned to lead awareness and education of officers in relation to mental health crisis response. Staff need to develop communication strategies that extend beyond those immediately involved in MHST.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)16-27
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing
Issue number1
Early online date15 Jan 2020
Publication statusPublished - 16 Jan 2021


  • Mental Health, Street Triage, Police, Community Psychiatric Nurse, Collaboration, Section 136


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