Beyond Places of Safety scheme – background

On the 9th of January this year, the Prime Minister announced that the Department of Health would run a further grants scheme for improving the provision of services for those who are vulnerable to a mental health crisis. This follows on from the Improving Places of Safety scheme run over 2015/16 and 2016/17 which aimed to improve health-based ‘places of safety’ for those experiencing a crisis, in order to ensure that fewer vulnerable people ended up in a police cell following detention under the Mental Health Act. Since 2012, the number of people being detained in police cells under the Mental Health Act has fallen by 80%. The formation of the Crisis Care Concordat in 2014 was central to this improvement, and this additional investment of £15m will help continue this positive trend.

The new scheme is entitled Beyond Places of Safety to reflect the fact that its aims are broader than the previous scheme. As well as helping improve the provision of health-based Places of Safety for those detained under S135 and S136 of the Mental Health Act, applications can also be made to improve services for people who are vulnerable to or recovering from a mental health crisis.

How to submit a bid

The scheme is now open to receive bids from Crisis Care Concordat leads. Bidders should download the Beyond Places of Safety – Grant Application Guidance and complete the BPoS – Grant application form.  Final bids must be received in the email inbox by 23:59 on Sunday 21st January 2018.


Questions should be submitted to all questions and answers will be published on this site.

Further information about the scheme

The Department hosted webinars on the 20th and 28th September.

The slides for these events are available here –  Beyond Places of Safety – Webinar Slides

The recordings for the events are available here. Please note that you may need additional software to access these.

Session 1 (20th September)

Session 2 (28th September):


Webinar Questions and Answers

Will the funding be an one off payment or on-going?

Funding will be capital funding so it’s a one-off investment in infrastructure or service development. We will not provide on-going, revenue, funding to run the service, which must be found from elsewhere.

Does the bid need to be supported by both CCC group(s) and STP’s? What if the STP area covers two CCC groups and each group wishes to do something different?

Bids will, indeed, need to be supported by both the CCC group and the STP. If there are two CCC groups within an STP area then they can both put in different bids, as long as both are supported by the STP. Either way, prospective CCC group bidders are encouraged to contact their STPs as early as possible.

What about an STP area where there may be multiple CCC groups bidding together? How will you be checking that all CCC groups will be involved?

It’s necessary for funding to come from a CCC group and they will need to demonstrate, amongst other things, that they are plugging a gap in local capacity. If there are multiple bids from CCCs within a single STP region then these will be considered on merit.  However if there are bids for the same facility, or that are very near to each other, then this will be taken into account as we want to avoid paying for excess, and therefore unsustainable, capacity.

Once funding for developing HBPoS, is there commissioning agreements across London for staffing/running costs with the planned reduced numbers of HBPoS with CCG commissioners?

The Healthy London Partnership (HLP) have undertaken a significant amount of work on behalf of all CCGs in London on a section 136 pathway and Health Based Places of Safety specification for London. We therefore recommend that any prospective bidders within the London region looking to bid for HBPoS contact the HLP as early as possible to discuss their bid, and make clear within their application documentation that they have done so.

Are we able to use the capital to employ some one on a limited time to oversee a short term project that will result in the outcomes identified?

No – capital funding cannot be used to employ project management staff. Only costs that are directly attributable to bringing a non-current asset into being and/or into appropriate condition for their intended use can be capitalised and funded with DH capital. For example, professional fees associated with acquiring the asset, delivery costs, installation costs, site clearance and stamp duty can be capital expenditure. In-house costs, e.g. staff time that is directly identifiable for bringing a fixed asset into being may be capitalised but not general administration costs, which would have to be funded with or without the capital project.

Can a capital grant be used to rent a property as there will be some anxiety from some potential providers about the ongoing liability of purchasing estate?

A key criterion for evaluation of any bid will be sustainability so we would have think carefully about why a bidder wanted to rent a property and whether this is indicative of a lack of commitment to long term sustainability – and any such bids would need to respond directly to these concerns. Renting a property for a long term project also creates a liability, in the form of rental costs.

Will there be a limit to the number of bids that an STP area can make or will be awarded? Will proposals that are broader than a single CCC be viewed more favourably?

There will not be a limit to the number of bids that an STP area can make but all bids must come from CCC groups within the STP area and be supported and sponsored by STPs. Bids will be assessed for their merit against a set of evaluation criteria, which will be made clear in the guidance and application forms. However if CCCs wish to collaborate on bids (e.g. across an STP footprint) that is very welcome and if this enables the capital invested to benefit a greater number of people and provide more VfM in terms of economies of scale then that would strengthen the bid.

Where there are several bids within an STP footprint that STPs wish to support and sponsor, they may wish to indicate an order of preference. All bids will be considered on their own merits in line with the key evaluation criteria.

Can more than 1 application be made per CCC area? Can more than 1 CCC area apply per STP?

Yes, though we are looking for good evidence of joined up planning and delivery so if an application appears to duplicate or overlap another then that could undermine one or both bids. The early involvement of STPs should help mitigate against this.

The lead organisation in the CCC is the CCG, however, the CCG cannot pass money to other organisations and cannot own property. How do we overcome this?

CCGs are not the lead organisations in all CCC groups, though all bids require the involvement of at least one CCG. The rules of the scheme allow organisations other than the CCG to be nominated to receive the capital grant. These include NHS Trusts and NHS Foundation Trusts, Local Authorities and Third sector/voluntary/civil society organisations, which should be part of the CCC group locally.

Can the CCG act as the lead organisation also?

Because of the rules around capital funding CCGs cannot receive capital funding. Therefore an alternative organisation must receive the capital funding and be responsible for it.  However we do expect CCGs to be closely involved with developing and implementing the projects.  This will need to be declared as part of the application form.

If only the lead organisation within Crisis Care Concordat can receive the grant funding (not able to pass on to another partner) – how does this work with bids that identify a lead partner with other organisations as partners and sharing the funding between lead and partners organisations?

The lead organisation will ultimately own the capital asset and the DH rules on capital funding prohibit funding from being passed to a third party.  This means that we can’t fund bids that will end in an asset who’s ownership is split between multiple organisations.  However the lead organisation can commission services from other organisations to contribute to development of the asset.

Is there a minimum/maximum grant? Can you please provide some guidance on the level of funding concordats should bid for? Scale?

Under the DH capital grant rules there’s a de-minimis (minimum award) of £5,000 for capital grants so bids below £5,000 cannot be considered. There is no maximum award, though we would urge bidders to bid for a sensible and proportionate amount in light of the overall £15m envelop available and to bear in mind that we are looking to fund a reasonable number of bids across a relatively fair geographical spread.

Additionally one of our evaluation criteria will be value for money (VfM) which will be assessed as the cost of the project in relation to the numbers of people expected to benefit. Therefore if you are putting in a bid for a very large sum you will need to demonstrate that a very great many people will benefit from the project going ahead.

How many grants are you looking to make?

There’s no target for the number of grants. We have a budget of £15m so we will award grants up to that amount.

Three months is a long time to keep the bidding open for? It would be better to shorten this time so outcomes are known more quickly to assist with planning for next year?

Feedback from previous bidding processes run by DH and NHSE suggests that 3 months is the right amount of time to allow bidders to assemble their bids. We want to maximise the quality of bids and also appreciate this is particularly busy time of year for the NHS and local partners. We would advise all prospective bidders to build in adequate time for sign-offs and to not underestimate the time needed for local administrative sub-processes.

You said money will be given out between June and December 2019; is this not 2018?

Our thinking is that for larger projects money will be paid out/drawn down in tranches so what we’re saying is that the last of those tranches should be drawn down by December 2019 at the very latest to ensure delivery of the project is complete by March 2020.

Is it possible to combine elements that all fit within the criteria but with different focus (eg. something towards enhancing/ co-ordinating access, and separately for something that might be more about physical such as reconfiguration/ redesign of existing space)?

Yes. As long as it’s clear what the project is setting out to achieve and there is sufficient detail, then it can have more than one outcome. Do bear in mind though that each bid can only request payment to a single agency so very complex projects requiring multiple payments to different partners could prove very difficult to administer. Bidders are encouraged to think pragmatically and consider the viewpoints of the bid evaluators and process/fund administrators.

Is this just for adult services?

No the scheme is for all ages: children and young people, and adult (including older adult) services.

Would you provide any other support for the bid, other than the monies?

The Department of Health does not have the resources to provide instrumental or project support to prospective bidders or those awarded funding with planning and delivering the project, though we will consider lending support around local communications and media activity. However the grants manager will work with successful bidders to ensure that they are clear about the rules for administering the capital spending and can receive payments in good time. NHS England may be able to provide high-level advice as to how bids fit in with the direction of travel in terms of national policy.

If the Crisis Care Concordat area group is part of a devolved health and social care system (i.e. like Greater Manchester) can they still apply for this capital fund?


Would Urgent Care Lounges probably within Acute Hospitals be considered?


Our concordat wants to support our acute trust to develop MH care and treatment rooms in A&E that can be used as place of safety & for crisis care – would this be eligible?

Yes it would.

Can you share some good practice examples from around country?

The Crisis Care Concordat website includes some inspirational examples of good practice and the guidance under the ‘Local Inspirations’ tab that indicate the kind of services that are viewed as innovative ( Prospective bidders are also encouraged to work with service user representative organisations to examine what they feel effective urgent and emergency mental health care looks like. The Positive Practice in Mental Health Directory also contains some examples (

Is there the opportunity to share initiatives across UK regarding Innovative Crisis Services.

There are already some examples of services on the Crisis Care Concordat website under the ‘Local inspirations’ tab. These will be updated in light of the bids awarded from the BPoS scheme.

Could a lead provider use the funding to commission safe space/sanctuary space from 3rd sector/voluntary sector as part a new proposed MA crisis care pathway for CYP?

Yes. However, the service will need to be sustainable and will not be able to rely on capital funding for staffing costs – these will need to be met using local revenue funding streams.

If bids have to be made by the organisation receiving, how will this fit in with procurement rules in terms of selecting a provider to run a crisis house say?

This is a grants scheme so operates under different rules to government procurement of a service. A successful bidder looking to purchase services or contract services as part of their solution – including, for example, a crisis house – will be responsible for ensuring compliance with public sector procurement law.

Would it be favourable to collaborate across LDS or STP footprint?

A key principle for the scheme is good joined up working and planning so evidence of collaboration will be looked on favourably, though it is not essential.

Would bids for additional mental health acute beds be included?

Bids for additional mental health acute beds could be considered. However the emphasis of the scheme is to (wherever possible) provide alternatives to acute inpatient care, use of the Mental Health Act (sections 135/6 or otherwise), or A&E attendances. We would also want a clear rationale as how the need for additional acute beds has been determined, and contextual information about the provision of and commissioned spend on intensive home treatment services given the Five Year Forward View for Mental Health prioritisation of this and the new funding in CCG baselines for Crisis Resolution Home Treatment teams from this financial year.


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