03 July 2020

NHS England has awarded the Trust a five-year contract to provide a Liaison & Diversion Service (L&DS) across Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire.

The contract is to provide a seven day a week service (8am-8pm) to individuals presenting with a wide range of health and social care vulnerabilities in police custody and courts across Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire.

ELFT already provides an L&DS to Bedfordshire and Luton.

As of Monday (July 1, 2020) we are providing the same service to Hertfordshire in partnership with our sub-contractor Hertfordshire Partnership Foundation Trust (HPFT).

The partnership will enable cost efficiencies through shared learning and innovative service delivery.

Bedfordshire will continue to provide a specialist service, working alongside probation to deliver Mental Health Treatment Requirements. This successful pilot has so far provided psychological interventions to 73 men and women, saving approximately 24 years’ custodial time in the past 18 months, and won a coveted Howard League Award in 2019.  The same service will be provided in Hertfordshire.

The L&DS will continue to offer assessment and immediate support and referrals to children and young people attending police custody outside of the Youth Offending Team (YOT) operating hours.

Service users will continue to inform service planning, delivery and evaluation and the service is expanding to include Peer Support Workers as a core part of the service.  There will also be a greater emphasis on the assessment of voluntary attendees.

“We are delighted to be given the opportunity to use our expertise in continuing to provide L&DS in Bedfordshire and now in Hertfordshire in partnership with colleagues from Hertfordshire Partnership Foundation Trust,” said Karen Weir, ELFT Operational Lead for L&DS.

Adult vulnerabilities may include: Mental health, learning disabilities, autistic spectrum, alcohol/substance misuse, physical health concerns, personality disorder, acquired brain injury, ADHD, speech, language and communication needs, learning difficulties (eg dyslexia, dyspraxia) and homelessness.

Following triage and assessment, the L&DS may undertake one or more of the following tasks:

  • Provide referral and support to attend first appointments to identified agencies (eg alcohol and substance misuse services, CMHT assessments, learning disability/autism assessment, attend the GP registration/appointment, complete housing applications, education and employment opportunities, divert under Part 2 of the Mental Health Act or arrange an informal admission, etc).
  • Liaise with the police, solicitors, Crown Prosecution Service, and the judiciary with a view to promoting safe and fair criminal justice processes andoutcomes: eg recommending a Mental Health Treatment Requirement, requesting the court to commission a psychiatric report to better inform the courts regarding a mental disorder and possible diversion under Part III of the Mental Health Act, requesting an Intermediary, completing court reports to advise on special measures and reasonable adjustments, etc