What was the issue that required change?
Patients in Police Custody are some of the most marginalised and disenfranchised people in society. They find it hard to access or engage with services that are designed to help them. Those who are detained on a Friday night will spend the weekend in custody. By Sunday, the effects of drugs and drink have worn off, and they want to talk to someone, but the service isn’t there.
How did you tackle it?
Working alongside Police Scotland and SACRO, workers were timetabled to enter the custody suite in St Leonards, Edinburgh in pairs on a Sunday afternoon. People within custody were identified by the on-site clinical forensic nursing team and offered slots to talk.
What was the outcome?
As relationships between all parties built up, police officers began to directly refer service users they felt would benefit from involvement, and other users began to actively request to speak to Sunday Choices. With SACRO alongside the custody police officers and on-site nursing staff, there were absolutely no barriers, no waiting lists and no cancellations. There was a 100% take up on appointments.