A new initiative to support people with conditions in their interactions with the emergency services has been launched in South Yorkshire.
TheAlert Card is the result of a partnership between South Yorkshire Police and Sheffield Health and Social Care NHS Foundation Trust.
The teams wanted to help reduce the anxiety and distress often felt by people experiencing difficulties with theirwhen interacting with the police, or when seeking support or help from other agencies.
DCI Richard Hammond, South Yorkshire Police's Force Lead for, said: “The Alert Card ensures the police have clear and tailored information about each individual who carries one.
“It will detail things such as their communication style, any sensory issues they may have, what circumstances can trigger them to becoming unwell and any particular difficulties that individual may face.
“The card will enable officers to gain a better understanding of the individual and their situation, in a timely manner and without causing any additional distress.”
People who apply for a card will receive a free photo ID card with the ICE (in case of emergency) contacts. The card will contain a unique reference number, which when shown to police officers and staff enables them to access useful information about the individual.
An additional ‘passport’ is also available, should the card-holder want to share information with other services they encounter, such as interchange staff or shopping mall staff.
The card does not carry any chips and is not a proof of ID.
Ellie Wildbore, a service user and Patient Ambassador at Sheffield Health and Social Care NHS Foundation Trust, said: “I’m so proud of the work that has gone into developing the newAlert Card. Having been in a position where I’ve been supported by the police during a crisis a card like this would have made a big difference in helping me explain what was going on and the best way to support me.
"I’d really encourage anyone who is struggling with theiron a long-term basis to register for a card, it really could make all the difference in what is already a tough situation.”
DCI Hammond added: “This initiative should allow officers to adapt their communication style or response, so they can ensure they treat people with acondition appropriately and with respect.”
To find out more about the card, or to apply for one, click here.
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