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Driver training for mental health staff

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Staff from the local mental health and learning disabilities trust have taken part in driver training to prepare them for a new role of driving around the county in a large people carrier.

Five staff members from the Crisis Resolution and Home Treatment (CRHT) Teams at Lincolnshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust (LPFT) participated in the half day course at RAF Scampton on Thursday, 2 May.

The course aimed to increase the driver’s confidence in manoeuvring and handling a vehicle, to get them ready for driving the crisis response vehicle around Lincolnshire.Adrian Jones, the instructor from Lincolnshire Road Safety Partnership said:

“This type of course is ideal for drivers to build confidence and improve their skills in a controlled and safe environment.

“We include how to identify and recover from an under steer and an over steer and how to understand the balance of the vehicle.”

The Crisis Vehicular Response Service is a new service, made up of registered mental health professionals and mental health support workers.

During their shifts, staff work closely with the mental health practitioner in the police control room, and the CRHT teams across the county, and will be required to drive out to attend to patients who are suffering an acute mental health crisis to complete a mental health assessment and offer follow up care and/or signpost to other services as necessary.

Garry Fawn from Lincoln CRHT team who completed the training said:

“I was a little apprehensive at first, but the session was really enjoyable and we learnt some valuable skills that have certainly increased my driving confidence.”

In addition to skid control, the course covered emergency stops, how to deal with brake failure and information about inbuilt vehicle safety mechanisms, such as anti-lock braking systems (ABS).

The service started on 1 April and the team is expecting the delivery of the new vehicle in July.