Update regarding the Multi Agency Crisis Assessment Service (MACAS) pilot programme

An innovative pilot programme that has enabled Cumbria Police, the North West Ambulance Service, third sector partners and all health and care services to work together to enable people in mental health crisis get the right help, at the right time, by the right people, has concluded.

The agencies involved are pleased to announce that funding has now been secured to enable most elements of the programme to continue.

The pilot enabled learning across all agencies and has ensured that best practice is in place to ensure those in mental health crisis are seen quickly by mental health professionals.

The two year pilot – funded through the Home Office Police Innovation Fund from Cumbria’s Police and Crime Commissioner’s Office – called the Multi Agency Crisis Assessment Service (MACAS) had four different elements, three of which will now continue.

The Single Point of Access telephone triage line for Cumbria Police, the North West Ambulance Service, GPs and other NHS and care professionals will continue. This provides immediate access, 24 hours a day, to a mental health professional who is able to look at health records and offer advice at any time.

The Lighthouse service, provided by Carlisle Eden Mind and the Glenmore Trust will also remain, providing out of hours support to those who need it in order to try and prevent a crisis escalating.

The high quality s136 suite will remain which gives a safe environment to those who need to be detained for safety reasons under the Mental Health Act.

The only part of the MACAS pilot that partners are unable to continue funding at this time are the three assessment beds.  This facility allowed a small number of patients to be assessed for up to 72 hours without being detained. These beds will now return to form part of the specialist in-patient ward the Hadrian unit. Patients will still be able to be assessed at Carleton Clinic however this is not an overnight facility.

This update is on behalf of all MACAS Partners:

  • Cumbria Police.
  • Cumbria Police and Crime Commissioners Office.
  • North Cumbria Clinical Commissioning Group.
  • Morecambe Bay Clinical Commissioning Group.
  • North West Ambulance Service.
  • Cumbria Partnership NHS Foundation Trust.
  • Cumbria County Council.