Under the Mental Health Act, police officers can take a person from a public place to a health-based place of safety or 136 suite if they are in extreme mental distress. This protects the person’s own safety, the safety of others, and enables health professionals to carry out an assessment to decide on the best next steps. A health-based place of safety is not an admission ward.   

If you are detained under the Mental Health Act and taken to a place of safety for a mental health assessment, it is usually because you are experiencing a crisis, feeling highly distressed, and presenting a risk to yourself and others.  

You will stay in the place of safety to understand your mental health needs until a decision is made to determine whether further assessment or treatment is needed. There is a bed available in the place of safety to help you rest and feel comfortable during your brief stay.  

Our health-based place of safety units are linked to the police we work with: Avon and Somerset Police and Wiltshire Police.  

All referrals into the place of safety are taken from officers of Avon and Somerset Police and Wiltshire Police. Our service works very closely with the police, local councils and Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) to provide support and signposting. 

Avon and Somerset Police serves Bristol, North Somerset, South Gloucestershire, and Bath and North East Somerset. We provide a 24-hour staffed, health-based place of safety at Mason Unit, Southmead Hospital. 

Mason Unit 
Bristol place of safety 
Southmead Hospital 
Bristol   
BS10 5NB   

Phone: 0117 41447281/0 

Across Wiltshire, our 24-hour staffed place of safety is Bluebell Unit at Green Lane Hospital in Devizes.   

Bluebell Unit  
Green Lane Hospital  
Marshall Road  
Devizes  
SN10 5DS 

Phone: 01380 731242/3