Mental Health Act

Waveney MP Peter Aldous this week questioned the Home Secretary on the use of police stations as ‘places of safety’ under the Mental Health Act. 
In Oral Questions to the Secretary of State for the Home Office, Theresa May MP, in the House of Commons on Monday, Mr Aldous called on the Minister to outline what action the Government is taking to eliminate the use of police stations as Section 136 ‘places of safety’ in light of the Care Quality Commission’s recent mental health review. In particular, Aldous asked what representations the Minister was making to ensure that properly resourced and fully staffed places are provided in mental health units.
Section 136 allows for someone, believed by the police to be suffering from a mental disorder and in immediate need of care and control, to be taken to a place of safety so they can be assessed and any arrangements can be made for their care and treatment. Due to a lack of mental health units, emergency departments at general hospitals and police stations are often used as places of safety.
In his recent trip out with the Ambulance Service working from the Waveney Depot, Mr Aldous saw for himself the challenges faced by paramedics and police officers in addressing the needs of patients with mental health issues. Mr Aldous has highlighted the need for the Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust to work more closely with the ambulance service and the police to improve mental health care, with particular regard being given to the provision of properly resourced Section 136 places of safety in mental health units. 
The Secretary of State commended Mr Aldous for raising such an important issue and agreed that people detained under section 136 of the Mental Health Act 1983 should only be taken to police stations in exceptional circumstances. Aldous received assurances from the Minister that as a result of health workers and police officers working together, fewer people are being taken to police cells as a place of safety. She has announced that she had commissioned a review of the operation of Sections 135 and 136 alongside the Health Secretary to ensure that appropriate support is available for people experiencing mental health problems.
Commenting today, Peter Aldous said:
“I am pleased that the Government is taking action to provide a more integrated approach to mental health involving both the Home Office and the Department of Health so as not to put a strain on paramedics and police officers in terms of time and resources.
I shall continue to listen to concerns and relay them onto Government so that all practical steps are taken to ensure that the necessary facilities and resources are available for people suffering from mental health issue.”

Contact Peter Aldous MP

The Renaissance of East Anglian Fisheries

Construction (Retention Deposit Schemes) Bill

Construction (Retention Deposit Schemes) Bill


Peter holds regular surgeries at various locations in the constituency. Please call 01502 586568 to make an appointment.

Next Surgery: 

Lowestoft, Thursday 18th April


A47 Alliance

Suppor the A47 Alliance

Download the report...

A47 Gateway to Growth


Search form

Your Local Councillors

Enter your Postcode below for details of all your elected representatives:


Constituency Map

View Waveney in a larger map