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Criminal Justice Liaison and Diversion Service

Posted on the 21st February 2019

Lancashire Care will continue to provide a vital service for vulnerable people that have been in contact with the criminal justice system.

This follows a decision by NHS England to re-award the contract for Liaison & Diversion services across Lancashire and Cumbria to the Trust.  The Trust is delighted to have retained this contract for the next 6 years.

The remit of the service is to undertake assessments in criminal justice settings of people who have been arrested and where appropriate divert them away from the criminal justice system and into health care or other appropriate services in line with their individual needs. Alternatively the person will be referred on to other services that will provide support or care whilst they continue to engage with the criminal justice system. The service also provides court related services which provide greater support to the magistrates and access to mental health services and wider support for those persons who find themselves before the court.

The key principle of the service is that where identified, people of all ages in contact with the youth and criminal justice systems are screened; and where appropriate assessed or referred for assessment, so that those with mental health problems, learning disabilities, cognitive disorders, substance misuse problems and other vulnerabilities are identified as soon as possible in the justice pathway. Those in contact with the youth or criminal justice systems as a result of being suspected of having committed a criminal offence are, where appropriate, referred to appropriate services including, but not limited to, mental and physical healthcare, social care, substance misuse treatment and safeguarding.

Lisa Moorhouse, Head of Operations for the Trust’s mental health services said: “It is fantastic that we have retained this very important service. We have worked with the people that use our services to develop a new service model and have been exploring opportunities to create volunteer roles for those that are in recovery. Moving forward we will see some exciting developments which include extended services being provided in custody suites and magistrates courts across the patch; along with the development of the peer mentor role so we can co-produce the model and ensure that the voice and experience of our service users are heard.”

More information about the service can be found at https://www.lancashirecare.nhs.uk/liaison-and-diversion-service