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Walsall’s new triage centre

June 25, 2010

Last Wednesday (23rd June 2010) saw the launch of a new triage centre in Walsall. The centre has been set up to deal predominantly with young people who are suffering from alcohol related illnesses and injuries, but the facilities are there for any visitor to the town centre to use should it be necessary.

The idea of the centre is to provide an initial response to people who may have consumed excess alcohol or those who are vulnerable due to intoxication. A paramedic and a police officer will be patrolling the town centre, looking for people who may be in need of medical intervention.  Anyone found in need of care will have an initial assessment before being taken to a place of safety in the town. There, medical staff and police officers will provide further care and establish a plan to get the person home.

Similar schemes operate in other towns and cities in the West Midlands and have led to a significant reduction in calls to the ambulance service and fewer admissions to hospitals. This has saved the National Health Service a great deal of money. We are delighted that our partners in West Midlands Ambulance Service, St John’s Ambulance and Walsall Manor Hospital are supporting this initiative, as it has potential to make a hugely positive impact on crime and disorder in the town.

Initially, the triage centre will be run during the World Cup games. In the long term, it is planned to open the centre whenever there is likely to be a heavy footfall in the town, such as on pay days. On these busy nights, there are additional officers on patrol in the town centre, so they will be able to make referrals to the centre.

Pubs, clubs and other venues in the town have been made aware of  this scheme and will be referring patients to police officers on the town.

Once the scheme has been running for a while, we will post some feedback. In the meantime, if anyone has any suggestions for improvements, please submit a comment.

The centre will be open again this Sunday during the England – Germany game on Sunday 27th June.

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