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December 2012

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Northern Health Executive Director Robynne Cooke, North Western Mental Health Operations Director Peter Kelly and Superintendent Dean Stevenson of Victoria Police’s North West Metro Region.

New emergency response service in north

Northern Health and Victoria Police, with the Northern Area Mental Health Service, will provide a new Police and CATT Emergency Response Service, known as NPACER.

Northern Health Chief Executive Officer Greg Pullen said the NPACER service would respond to incidents involving the mentally-ill and reduce the amount of time operational units spent with people at risk.

He said this new initiative would build upon the quality health services Northern Health already provided to its community.

‘The NPACER Service is a collaboration between Northern Health, Victoria Police, Northern Area Mental Health Service and Ambulance Victoria and results from the success of two pilot projects run elsewhere in Victoria,’ Mr Pullen said.

‘Part of the process will involve directly admitting relevant clients to inpatient psychiatry units at the Northern Hospital and Broadmeadows Health Service when possible, rather than have these clients transit via the emergency department at the Northern Hospital.’

‘This will help reduce demands on hospital EDs and police and alleviate potential risk when dealing with incidents involving the mentally-ill.’

Police Assistant Commissioner Andrew Crisp said NPACER was an efficient and effective service which integrated key agencies to better provide for those who suffer a mental illness.

‘Not only is this an improved service for the patient but it allows police to get back on the streets in a timely manner and greatly assists local resources.