Improving Police-Hospital Transitions: A Framework for Ontario
A framework designed to provide police services and hospitals in communities across Ontario with a roadmap to establish effective police-hospital transition protocols. Now available for download:
Tools for Developing Police-Hospital Transition Protocols in Ontario
A complementary guideline designed to assist with the implementation of the framework. These tools and resources were developed based on existing promising practices in Ontario. Now available for download:
About the Police-Hospital Transitions Project
In Ontario, a person experiencing a mental health or addictions related crisis may be apprehended by police officers under the Mental Health Act, and subsequently accompanied to a hospital emergency department for assessment and care. This process can have a number of negative impacts on everyone involved. These can include an increase in demands on police and hospital resources, longer wait times, and impact the care of the person in crisis.
In 2012, the Provincial HSJCC began a province-wide project to examine these issues, as well as innovative practices adopted by police forces and hospitals throughout Ontario. A comprehensive HSJCC Infoguide: Strategies for Implementing Effective Police-Emergency Department Protocols in Ontario was created as a result of the project. What became clear was that there was a need for a province-wide framework addressing police to hospital transition practices.
In 2015, the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care and the Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services, in partnership with the Provincial HSJCC, and the Canadian Mental Health Association Ontario, convened a Provincial Task Force comprised of experts from across the healthcare and policing sectors, including the Ontario Hospital Association, Ontario Association of Chiefs of Police, and several client groups. The Task Force developed a framework, Police-Hospital Transitions: A Framework for Ontario, that was designed to provide police services and hospitals in communities across Ontario with a roadmap to establish effective police-hospital transition protocols.
The model for the Framework is based upon evidence and best practices already happening throughout Ontario, and provides information on how to implement process changes that are intended to:
1) Improve health outcomes for individuals apprehended under the Mental Health Act;
2) Improve transitions between police officers and hospital workers; and
3) Improve coordination and collaboration among partners involved in the transition.
Tools for Developing Police-Hospital Transition Protocols in Ontario is a complimentary guideline, designed to assist with the implementation of the framework. These tools and resources were developed based on existing promising practices in Ontario. They are meant to help police, hospitals and others comply with legal requirements (e.g. as found in Ontario’s mental health, human rights, policing and privacy legislation) and support the adoption of best practices. Many of these tools may be tailored to the specific needs of local communities.
On June 3, 2019, the Ministry of the Solicitor General and the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care jointly endorsed and recommended the use of the Framework and Toolkit. Click here for the joint memorandum from the Hon. Sylvia Jones, Solicitor General of Ontario, and the Hon. Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health and Long-Term Care, also available in French.
On August 9, 2019, Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health, Sylvia Jones, Solicitor General, and Michael Tibollo, Associate Minister of Mental Health and Addiction publicly announced the new framework and toolkit at Bluewater Health.
Police-Hospital Transitions Provincial Education Forum
On June 3rd, 2019, a Police-Hospital Transitions Provincial Education Forum was held in Toronto. This event brought together leaders from the policing and health care sectors to mark the release of Improving Police Hospital Transitions: A Framework for Ontario and discuss the implementation of effective police-hospital transition protocols across the province.
The event featured numerous speakers, including the Honourable Sylvia Jones, Solicitor General of Ontario, and Robin Martin, MPP and Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Health and Long-Term Care. The event also featured two panel discussions focused on lessons learned from implementing Police-Hospital Transition Protocols and key considerations for implementing Police-Hospital Transition Protocols.
A recording of the Police-Hospital Transitions Provincial Education Forum is provided below (presentations begin at 9:20).