THE leader of Cheshire East Council has asked health and care agencies to record if they are getting more calls for help following the police roll-out of ‘Right Care, Right Person’.

And the opposition group leader asked Cheshire Police for regular updates on how the new policy is impacting calls for help to the force and their response.

Right Care, Right Person (RCRP) aims to ensure vulnerable people get the right support from the right emergency services.

There are fears its roll-out will impact the NHS and other agencies as police cut down on mental health call-outs.

At this week’s meeting of Cheshire East’s health and wellbeing board, Chief Inspector Dan Reynolds said: “Right Person in Cheshire is having positive benefits, not just for policing, but for partners as well."

The chief inspector said RCRP was drawing police back to their fundamental purposes of preventing and detecting crime, keeping the peace, protecting life and property.

Cheshire East's health and wellbeing meetingCheshire East's health and wellbeing meeting (Image: Belinda Ryan, LDRS)

He said welfare checks took a lot of police time ‘and there's some early indication now that the RCRP in Cheshire is having positive benefits, not just for policing, but for partners as well’.

Ch Insp Reynolds said: “This is all about making sure that vulnerable people are given that best possible support from the right person with skills to provide that care.”

Under RCRP, calls for assistance are triaged by the control room call handler with set questions to determine whether it is a police matter.

If it’s not, police won’t be deployed.

Ch Insp Reynolds said police would act where there’s a life at risk, missing people, crime and where there's violence or risk of violence towards other agencies.

He told the meeting, overall Cheshire Police had seen a 16.4 per cent reduction year-on-year in incidents generated from concern for welfare calls.

Between January and May 2023 they had 9,277 calls and for the same period this year, 7,758.

Cllr Janet ClowesCllr Janet Clowes (Image: Cheshire East Council)

Conservative group leader Janet Clowes said five months wasn’t long and the committee would like future updates on a regular basis detailing the impact of RCRP, so it could look at it over a longer time period.

Cllr Carol Bulman ( Lab) asked what happened to people who had sought help and been told police wouldn’t be attending.

She was told they were directed to the police website which listed alternative agencies to help or given that information over the phone.

Helen Charlesworth-MayHelen Charlesworth-May (Image: Cheshire East Council)

Helen Charlesworth-May, the council’s executive director of adults, health and integration, said: “The reality is most people that phone and don't get a response from police, won't get a response from anybody, because nobody else has the same powers that the police have.

“So if there's a call that says, ‘I haven't seen my next door neighbour, I would like somebody to go around to my next door neighbour’s house’, the local authority, the health service, don't have any powers that would enable them to do that.

“So the reality is, these people are probably not getting any response at all.”

The chief inspector said the police only had a right of entry ‘if it's an immediate threat to life, limb or property’.

Cllr Sam CorcoranCllr Sam Corcoran (Image: Cheshire East Council)

Council leader Sam Corcoran (Lab) said there were a lot of care organisations at the meeting and none had indicated extra demand on their services because of RCRP.

But he asked that all agencies record whether they are getting excess demand as a result of the new policy and that this be reported to future meetings.