The Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner and NHS England wished to implement an integrated service for Greater Manchester Police (GMP) that would improve health outcomes for those encountering the criminal justice system, and contribute to the reduction of offending by providing a high quality, safe, effective and best-value integrated service.
Our integrated service for Greater Manchester Police demonstrates a leading approach to custodial healthcare and wider Liaison and Diversion services. It is the first contract of its kind in the UK, bringing together these services to ensure integrated provision in custody, courts and the community.
The model went live in 2017 and combines services across key points of intervention in the criminal justice system for adults and young people. This means people of all ages who commit, or are suspected of, a crime are health assessed while in custody and those with mental health issues, learning disabilities, substance misuse or other vulnerabilities are supported to access appropriate services that can support them to divert from reoffending. The service also operates in courts.
Three key components make up the service: forensic medical healthcare, liaison and diversion, and community rehabilitation. Care & Custody coordinates the partnership, which brings together specialist organisations to provide integrated services, including North-West Boroughs Healthcare Trust and the Cheshire and Greater Manchester Community Rehabilitation Company.
- Forensic medical services: Care & Custody operates a nurse-led model which addresses doctor shortages and offers 24/7, high quality clinical care whilst providing value for money. Healthcare professionals are responsible for providing patient-focused healthcare, working with vulnerable members of the community.
- Liaison and Diversion: The North-West Boroughs Healthcare Trust work alongside Care & Custody to address wider healthcare concerns associated with individuals within the criminal justice system. Individuals are screened in custody and criminal courts to assess their needs, informing local community service pathways and providing guidance to detainees.
- Community rehabilitation: The Chester and Greater Manchester Community Rehabilitation Company partner with Care & Custody and North-West Boroughs Healthcare Trust to provide outreach Liaison and Diversion services across the Manchester area. Highly trained Community Navigators supervise offenders aged 18 and over in the community and use rehabilitation to address reoffending.
The partnership uses a bespoke version of SystmOne (an advanced clinical records programme), ensuring care is consistent and appropriate throughout all involvement with the criminal justice system. Partners can access, input and modify data anywhere with a secure internet connection, using live updates from other services to inform decisions regarding care.
Over 50% of offenders nationally commit another offence within 24 months of initial release. An increase in support contact points through contracts like this one helps reduce the risk of crime by directly addressing vulnerable individuals who could re-enter the custody system.
The delivery of a high-quality, safe and effective integrated service that represents good value has so far been successful. Rates of re-offending have been falling consistently in Greater Manchester since 2010 and have continued to decline against the national increase since Care & Custody began providing the integrated service in February 2017.
The services delivered by the Care & Custody team cover a population of approximately 500,000 people, with a Force comprising 1,250 police staff.
We’ve established a unified, positive culture and this contract has confirmed our role as a strategic partner to the Home Office.
Mitie’s Care & Custody division has been named as a supplier on the Prison Operator Services (POS) framework.