Procedure for Safe Conveying of Patients to a Mental Health Bed

Publication: 21/03/2016  --
Last review: 16/07/2020  
Next review: 30/06/2022  
Standard Operating Procedure
ID: 4585 
Approved By: Chief Nurse, Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust 
Copyright© Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust 2020  


This Standard Operating Procedure is intended for use by healthcare professionals within Leeds unless otherwise stated.
For healthcare professionals in other trusts, please ensure that you consult relevant local and national guidance.

Procedure for Safe Conveying of Patients to a Mental Health Bed

Key principles

  1. A comprehensive risk assessment, identifying factors that present a risk to the patient’s health and safety or to other people, must be carried out for all patients prior to transfer to a mental health placement. The risk assessment and subsequent management plan will be communicated to all relevant parties prior to transfer.
  2. Patients should always be conveyed in the manner which is most likely to promote their dignity and privacy whilst consistent with managing risk and safety.
  3. The LTHT individual booking the transport should choose from the approved list of transport providers using the Transport Plan/ Risk assessment to ensure that the booked transport provider can accommodate the request. (e.g. vehicle type; escorts) 

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Process for transfer of patients from LTHT to mental health units

  1. The assessing LYPFT Clinician / Approved Mental Health Professional (AMHP) will fully consider all risks specifically related to the transporting of the patient as part of their thorough risk assessment.  The risk assessment should reflect the guidance in MHA Code chapter 17, in particular 17.6. as laid out in the checklist provided.
  2. Using the Risk Assessment process described above, the LYPFT Clinician / AMHP will complete the  Part 1: Risk Assessment/ Transport Plan
  3. The LYPFT Clinician / AMHP completing Part 1: Risk Assessment/ Transport Plan should do so in consultation with the medical and nursing staff involved in the patient’s care. (Section A relates to psychiatric considerations; section B relates to medical/nursing considerations.) 
  4. Once the patient is ready to transfer, Part 2: Booking Form should be completed by senior nurse or other appropriate LTHT clinician. GP Codes can be found on patient record or by searching the relevant Tab of the Spreadsheet (APPENDIX 1). Any changes to the patient’s presentation or care needs which may impact on the ‘Transport Plan’ should be escalated to the Clinical Site Manager immediately as there may be a need to revise the Risk Assessment/ Transport Plan.
  5. The LTHT Clinician booking the transport will contact the suitable transport provider using the preferred priority list on the Flowchart and communicate the content of Transport Plan. The LTHT clinician booking the transport will use their local Cost Code for booking the transport. The LTHT Clinician booking the transport will request details of estimated waiting time for transport and will need to consider any consequences of the waiting time on the patients presenting risks.
  6. If there is a long delay in the contracted transport providers being available, LYPFT/AMHP/LTHT Clinicians to review the risk assessment collaboratively to consider alternative means of transportation. This may include, taxi, family or on foot. However, any decision to use a less secure mode of transport than was initially assessed for a patient must evidence that the balance of the patient’s best interests have changed because of the delay. A less restrictive transport arrangement (e.g. escorted walking) must not be used simply to reduce pressure on services/ speed up transfer. If agreement cannot be reached in such circumstances, then the patient should remain in LTHT whilst the decision is appropriately escalated.
  7. Part 1: Risk Assessment/Transport Plan & Part 2: Booking Form must be uploaded to the patient’s PPM+ record by the LTHT staff member completing the Booking Form and a copy given to the Transport Provider when they arrive to collect the patient.
  8. Concerns relating to the impact of a waiting time should be escalated to the LTHT Clinical Site Manager, as soon as possible. In addition should the delay relate to bed availability or awaiting the provision of a mental health Act assessment, clinicians should refer to the escalation process documented below.
  9. The conveying of all detained (sectioned) patients to a mental health in-patient unit must be communicated by the ward or unit nursing staff to the LTHT Mental Health Act (MHA) Administrator as early as possible, before transfer. The MHA Administrator will liaise with ward staff; ensuring all relevant section papers and transfer forms are available and completed prior to transfer.

Escalation process
If there is a need to escalate any issues relating to the operation of this procedure the normal escalation processes for each Trust should be followed;

Clinical Site Managers: 07776 230473 SJUH / 07776 228723 LGI
Contact for informing LTHT MHA Administrator re Sectioned patients: 65011/67269
Email: mca.mha

LYPFT clinical teams can escalate issues relating to delays which will impact on timely transportation of the patient through their respective management structure.
Initial attempts to resolve the delay should use the following contacts in the first instance:

ALPS (Emergency Department):
Bleep shift coordinator via LYPFT switchboard 0113 8555000 (24/7).
ALPS Office: 0113 2065878.

Hospital Mental Health Team:
SJUH/Seacroft 0113 8556730 (in hours).  Switchboard: 0113 8555000 (out of hours)
LGI and Chapel Allerton  0113 2923204/3926615/3925246(in hours). Switchboard: 0113 8555000 (out of hours)
Older Peoples Liaison Psychiatry Service 0113 2067147, Switchboard: 0113 8555000 (out of hours)

Awaiting Mental Health Bed
Leeds Patients - Contact Crisis Team via LYPFT Switchboard 0113 8555000.
Non Leeds Patients – Contact ALPS or Inreach.

Other useful contacts
Leeds ASC Emergency Duty Team (out of hours):  0771 2106378

Leeds ASC in hours AMPH: 0113 5350002

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LTHT Flowchart For Patients Transferring To Mental Health Unit

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Secure Patient Transport - Booking options approved 2019



Booking contact



 Option 1

IMT Medical Transport

 IMT Medical Transport 0151 4493710 (**new framework)

£50.00 Car
£75.00 Minibus
£100.00 Ambulance

North West based

Option 2

ERS Transition Ltd

0333 240 4999 (*new framework)


Leeds based

Option 3

UK Event Medical Ltd

0114 2449417 (*new framework)


South Yorkshire based

Option 4

Secure Care Services

- 0843 - 523-6264 (*new framework)

£20.00 per mile FROM BASE 

South Yorkshire based

Option 5

SMT Ambulance Service

0333 5778806


North Region

Option 6

Secure Care UK Ltd

0203 - 5985938

£75.00 FROM BASE


Option 7

Amvale Medical Transport

01724 - 487999

£75.00 FROM BASE

South Yorkshire based

*New framework providers will only charge cancellation if the cancellation is less than 90 minutes before requested collection time.
 ** IMT Cancellation Charge: There is no cancellation charge for non-commenced journeys (including within the 90 minutes)

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Part 1: Transport Plan/ Risk Assessment

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Part 2 - Booking Form (to be completed by LTHT staff)

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Appendix 1 - GP Codes

Excel Document

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Record: 4585
Clinical condition:
Target patient group: Mental health patients
Target professional group(s): Secondary Care Doctors
Secondary Care Nurses
Allied Health Professionals
Adapted from:

Evidence base

Not supplied

Approved By

Chief Nurse, Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust

Document history

LHP version 2.1

Related information

Not supplied

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