Systematic review workstream

What systematic reviews we are doing and why

We are undertaking a series of systematic reviews on mental health and policing related to: identifying mental vulnerability; recording relevant information using available systems; responding using appropriate internal and external resources; referring vulnerable people into services to provide longer-term assistance; reviewing incidents to make sure that risks have been effectively managed.

The reviews will establish what evidence is currently available about what works and areas where further research is required.

Details of the systematic reviews we plan to undertake are available here:

  1. Training programmes for non-mental health professionals
  2. Referral pathways: particularly to facilitate joint inter-agency working
  3. Models or mechanisms for inter-agency communication/sharing of information
  4. Methods for identifying and/or assessing mental vulnerability

Training programmes for non-mental health professionals

What did we review?

The aim of this systematic review was to identify the existing research evidence evaluating the effectiveness of mental health training packages and resources targeted at non-mental health professionals or other groups such as charity volunteers whose work brings them in contact with people with mental health problems. We also assessed the most effective methods for evaluating the impact of training interventions.

The review protocol, a plan of how the review was conducted, is available from PROSPERO International prospective register of systematic reviews: http://www.crd.york.ac.uk/PROSPERO/display_record.asp?ID=CRD42015015981

Why is this important?

Training for police officers coming into contact with people with mental ill health should enable them to provide a better service to these individuals particularly in crisis situations. We want to make sure that this training is as effective as possible, so are identifying what is already known about what works best in a systematic review. The Social Policy and Social Work centre has developed a one day training course for police officers, and York Trials Unit will test its effectiveness in a randomised controlled trial. The systematic review was undertaken to identify evidence on the effectiveness of relevant existing training programmes, and was used to help design the new course.

Who worked on this?
Findings
  • Information has already been used to inform the development of a training course being implemented as part of a randomised controlled trial
  • We have published an evidence briefing on the review.
  • The findings of the review will be presented at relevant Partners meetings
  • Full details of the systematic review have been published in an academic journal –
    Booth A, Scantlebury A, Hughes-Morley A, Mitchell N, Wright K, Scott W, et al. Mental health training programmes for non-mental health trained professionals coming into contact with people with mental ill health: a systematic review of effectiveness. BMC Psychiatry. 2017;17(1):196.
More information

For more information please contact Alison Booth, York Trials Unit, University of York.


2. Referral pathways for people with mental health problems

What are we reviewing?

In this review we aim to identify the existing evidence on the effectiveness of referral pathways for people with mental health problems who come into contact with the police. In particular, we will focus on pathways that facilitate inter-agency working, such as between the police and social services, health and mental health services, ambulance services, local authorities, education authorities, charities and support groups.

The review protocol, a plan of how the review will be conducted, is available from PROSPERO International prospective register of systematic reviews: http://www.crd.york.ac.uk/PROSPERO/display_record.asp?ID=CRD42016042008

Why is this important?

There is a high level of contact between the police and people with mental health problems, but such contact often does not lead to access to healthcare. The police are the first point of contact with the criminal justice system and there is an early opportunity through police intervention and liaison to engage services and potentially avoid future problems. However, according to the Bradley Report, the police stage is currently the least developed in the offender pathway in terms of engagement with health and social services. There is therefore a need to identify opportunities for the police to improve referral pathways for people with mental health problems that they come into contact with.

Who is working on this?
What is the timeline for this review?

Work on the review began in May 2016 and will be completed in February/March 2017.

How will the findings be made available?

A brief description of the findings will be added to this page and further information will be:

  • Published in a summary report (link will be made available here)
  • Presented at Partners meetings (presentation will be made available here)
  • Published in full in an academic paper (link will be made available here)
  • Included in Alice Parks’ PhD thesis
More information

For more information please contact Alison Booth, York Trials Unit, University of York


3. Inter-agency collaboration

What are we reviewing?

The aim of this systematic scoping review is to identify and map the existing research evidence evaluating and describing inter-agency collaboration between police or law enforcement and emergency services, statutory services and third sector agencies for people who appear to be suffering from mental health disorder.

The review protocol, a plan of how the review will be conducted, can be downloaded from here: Inter-agency collaboration: protocol for a systematic scoping review.

Why is this important?

People with mental health problems are often seen by an array or organisations and agencies, including the police. However police responses involving people with mental health problems can be inadequate, caused by poor information sharing and joint decision making, as well as a lack of coordinated intervention. There is a need for improved approaches for people with mental health problems through better information sharing and high quality and timely responses.

All relevant agencies will be approached for evaluations of their models/mechanisms for inter-agency communications. This will include Police, social services, health and mental health services including crisis teams, ambulance services, local authorities, charities and support groups.

Who is working on this?
What is the timeline for this review?

Work on the review began in May 2016 and will be completed in February/March 2017.

How will the findings be made available?

A brief description of the findings will be added to this page and further information will be:

  • Published in a summary report (link will be made available here)
  • Presented at Partners meetings (presentation will be made available here)
  • Published in full in an academic paper (link will be made available here)
More information

For more information please contact Alison Booth, York Trials Unit, University of York.


4. Methods for identifying and/or assessing mental vulnerability

What are we reviewing?

The aim of this systematic review is to identify the existing research evidence evaluating the effectiveness of ways that non-mental health professionals could use to identify and/or assess people they come into contact with for mental vulnerability.

The review protocol, a plan of how the review will be conducted, will be published on PROSPERO International prospective register of systematic reviews.

Why is this important?

When Police officers are called to an incident, one of the considerations they need to take into account is the mental state of those involved. Police officers are not trained mental health professionals so identifying ways to reliably and consistently assess the mental vulnerability of people will help police officers in their day to day interactions and decision about the most appropriate course of action in any given situation.

Who is working on this?

Inspector Bill Scott, North Yorkshire Police

What is the timeline for this review?

In scoping for this review in January 2016, a NICE review currently under way was identified. Our review has been put on hold pending the publication of the NICE review. Further work is anticipated in Autumn 2016 for completion by the end of March 2017.

What will happen to the results?

  • They will be published as a summary report
  • Presented at a Partners meeting
  • Published in full in an academic journal
More information

For more information please contact Alison Booth, York Trials Unit, University of York.