Criminal justice service provision from NHS Trusts

Two NHS Trusts in the southwest of England have been awarded the Criminal Justice Liaison and Diversion contract for the delivery of a service across the Devon and Cornwall Police patch.

Criminal justice service provision from NHS Trusts

The contract will see Cornwall Partnership NHS Foundation Trust (CFT) and Devon Partnership NHS Trust (DPT) continue to run the successful Peninsula Liaison and Diversion Service from 
1 April 2019 until 31 March 2022, with an option to extend by a further three years.

The Peninsula Liaison and Diversion Service works with local criminal justice agencies, including the Police, Magistrates and Crown Courts, to identify those of any age with a vulnerability, such as poor mental health, learning disability or drug and alcohol related needs.

All too often these individuals miss out on the treatment and the support that they need when they come into contact with the criminal justice system. The Peninsula Liaison and Diversion Service helps to prevent this from happening and in the last 12 months the Cornwall arm of the service has successfully engaged with 491 adults and 29 children and young people.

Moreover, the service aids the police and courts by providing up-to-date information on a person’s state of mind; as well as advice on how an individual’s mental health can contribute to a reduction in re-offending, and the likelihood that the individual will reach crisis-point.

Paul Bell, who is CFT’s Operational Manager for Mental Health Adult Inpatient and Targeted Services, commented: “The award of this contract is testament to the high calibre of work the CFT team have already done across Cornwall and is acknowledgement of their commitment to partnership working with local criminal justice agencies.”

The Cornwall arm of the service was also praised for its innovative and ground breaking projects, including working with children and young people, and the development of a criminal justice mental health pathway specifically for women.

Additional work carried out by the service includes rolling-out a telephone triage service for police officers to be able to access a person’s mental health information and the reintroduction of a project to offer police officers an alternative referral route to the service before an offence is committed.

This new contract means that we will have a single, joined-up service across the whole peninsula.

Commenting on securing the contract, Caroline Oakford, Team Manager for Devon Liaison and Diversion and Street Triage said: “A single service for Devon and Cornwall is an extremely positive step forward in terms of consistency and collaboration – and we are confident that the people we support will benefit.  Our bid was commended for innovation which includes the improvement of criminal justice mental health pathways for women, peer mentoring, service user involvement and Mental Health Treatment Requirements.Our future work will include the further development of pathways for children and young people in contact with the criminal justice system.

“Can I take this opportunity to thank everyone who was involved in pulling our bid together, including young people and families with lived experience. It’s been a great team effort and we are full of enthusiasm for the launch of the new service.”

Upcoming projects include looking into innovative ways to develop a criminal justice pathway for the homeless.

The CFT arm of the Peninsula Liaison and Diversion Service is a Cornwall wide service, with a primary base at the Bodmin Policing Hub and satellite bases at Camborne and Newquay Police stations. The service can be contacted via the hub on 01208 834747.