Bodmin Hospital in Cornwall has been offering student police officers the chance to better understand the needs and care of patients with mental health problems.
For the last three years Bodmin Hospital, supported by Home Treatment Teams at the Cornwall Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, has facilitated week long placements for local Student Police Officers.
The officers spend time on the wards getting to know how patients are cared for in an acute mental health setting, take part in occupational activities, attend ward rounds and assist staff in delivering care.
Alison Christie, Fletcher Ward Manager at Bodmin Hospital said, “We have run this popular programme for a number of years now. Working closely with Devon and Cornwall Police the placement programme enables student officers to get a better understanding of mental health related issues, how they affect people and the approaches our healthcare professionals take to support and treat the patients in their care.”
“It is also a good experience for the student police officers to spend time with the Home Treatment Teams seeing first-hand how care is given to try and avoid admission into hospital whenever possible.”
Following his placement student police officer, Scot Barrott, said “Thanks again for allowing my placement to be with your team. I found it extremely beneficial being able to observe the ward teams and seeing how they interact with, help and support their patients.”
“It was also great to see how passionate all staff are with the patients in their care, especially when working under the challenging conditions they sometimes face.”
"It was a fantastic experience, one which has enabled me to learn new skills and gain information to take forward into my policing career.”
Kim Hall, Initial Training Community Officer, Devon and Cornwall Police said: “The Community Engagement Placements are arranged for student police officers with key organisations and community groups on a five-day placement during their initial training at Police Headquarters.”
“The positive feedback received from our students on placement at Bodmin Hospital indicates it is very well received and much appreciated. The student officers demonstrate they benefit greatly from these invaluable developmental experiences. These partnerships are strengthened and the contacts made are invaluable when the officers go out on patrol.”