News 18 August 2020

Mitie works with Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust to deliver first fully integrated Liaison, Diversion and Healthcare Service in Merseyside

  • Mitie Care & Custody has won a new five-year contract to deliver a fully integrated Liaison, Diversion and Healthcare service for Merseyside Police, NHS England and NHS Improvement
  • Mitie will work with Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust to deliver a range of healthcare services for vulnerable people in custody and court, including forensic procedures and specialist assessments
  • The service will cover Youth, Magistrates, Crown and Complex Case Courts and over 100 police cells across Merseyside, providing additional support for voluntary attendees and vulnerable people in custody

Mitie Care & Custody has been awarded a new contract by Merseyside Police, NHS England and NHS Improvement to provide an integrated Liaison, Diversion and Healthcare service in Merseyside. The new contract will see Mitie working with Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust, under the Collaborative Care partnership, to deliver Medical, Liaison and Diversion Services to all Youth, Magistrates, Crown and Complex Case Courts and 109 cells in police stations across the region. The contract is for five years and includes the option to extend for another two years.

The new contract will combine Merseyside Police’s Custody Healthcare provision with NHS England and NHS Improvement’s Liaison and Diversion service for the first time, making Merseyside just the fourth Police Force in England to do so. This will not only simplify and streamline processes, but also ensure that any vulnerable individuals in custody are more quickly identified, receiving tailored and continuous support as well as prompt access to any health or social care services, as required.

A team of around 60 healthcare professionals will deliver a number of custodial and forensic health services, such as medical assessments, making specialist referrals and delivering prescription medication for people in custody. The team will also carry out examinations of potential suspects, as required by police authorities, in accordance with the Police and Criminal Evidence Act of 1984 and the College of Policing Authorised Professional Practice (APP) on Detention and Custody.

Medical services will also be available for voluntary attendees, meaning people who have committed minor offences but are not in custody or who are submitting their testimony at police stations. This service for voluntary attendees will also ensure that vulnerable individuals can access healthcare and support services that would only be available to them if they were in custody.

In addition to these health services, Mitie will work with Mersey Care to deliver Liaison and Diversion services to individuals in custody that have either been identified as vulnerable during their initial health evaluations or referred to the Liaison and Diversion team. These services will include further specialist and risk assessments, including mental health and gender-sensitive assessments, to ensure that vulnerable people, either in custody or in court, can be supported appropriately at these stages of the criminal justice system and be referred to the appropriate health or social care services they require to meet their needs. This will help individuals tackle the underlying causes of their offending and address key health issues, reducing the likelihood of a reoffence and enabling them to reach their potential.

Colin Dobell, Managing Director, Care & Custody, Mitie, said:

“We are delighted to be working with Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust through our new partnership, Collaborative Care, to deliver a fully integrated custodial healthcare service for the people of Merseyside, Merseyside Police, NHS England and NHS Improvement.

“Mitie Care & Custody teams already provide specialist custodial medical services to police forces across England and Wales, including two integrated healthcare contracts in Great Manchester and Cheshire. We’ll be building on this expertise to safeguard the health and wellbeing of detainees in our care and ensure ongoing support when they leave custody. We look forward to implementing this new contract to deliver improved custodial healthcare, liaison and diversion services for Merseyside.”

Sadie Canning-Dosser, Operational Manager, Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust, said:

“We pride ourselves on delivering high quality services to vulnerable people and our criminal justice partners and this award gives us an opportunity to further develop our service model, and radically improve the high standards of support and care we deliver.”

Ngaire Waine, Chief Superintendent, Merseyside Police, said:

“We are delighted to commission this and hope that together, we can go further towards supporting vulnerable people who may find themselves in our custody suites.

“By working closely with medical professionals, we are better equipped to carry out more thorough investigations, whilst also developing our own understanding of offending and reoffending and offering diversionary measures to those who need it most.”

Julie Dhuny, Head of Health and Justice, NHS England and NHS Improvement, North Region said:

“By identifying vulnerabilities in people earlier on, this essential service reduces the likelihood that people will reach a crisis-point and helps to ensure the right support can be put in place from the start. NHS England and NHS Improvement recognises the strength that comes from working collaboratively with partners and service users and we are proud of our joint achievements in developing this new Liaison and Diversion service for Merseyside that improves health outcomes and supports people in the reduction of re-offending.”

The new contract will start on the 1st of October 2020.

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