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Police and mental health Trust work together to support vulnerable people in Durham and Darlington

TEWV, PCC Constabulary logos

A service which provides specialist support to adults and young people who have entered the criminal justice system, and who may have a mental health problem, learning difficulty or other vulnerability is now fully operational within police stations and magistrates courts in County Durham and Darlington.

The liaison and diversion service is operated by local mental health Trust, Tees Esk and Wear Valley (TEWV) NHS Foundation Trust, and in conjunction with Durham Constabulary. The partnership was developed following the successful operation of a similar service with Cleveland Police, which has been running with great success since April 2014

The service provides mental health nurses and other professionals, who are working seven days a week in police custody suites and courts, to identify and assess adults and young people. Those identified are then supported through the criminal justice system by the liaison and diversion team and referred for the appropriate treatment or support services where required.

Nearly half of all prisoners have anxiety or depression, and nearly a third of all 13-18 year olds who offend have a mental health issue. By identifying someone brought into a police station or involved in court proceedings, who may have a mental health problem or other vulnerabilities, the liaison and diversion scheme can ensure they are supported through the criminal justice system and into the right mental health or social care service. It also helps the police and courts to do their jobs by providing up-to-date information on a person’s state of mind, as well as benefit the individual’s health, contribute to a reduction in re-offending, and reduce the likelihood that the individual will reach crisis-point.

Lisa Taylor, head of offender health and community services at TEWV said: “We are dedicated to the provision of excellent mental health services and working closely with local police and courts will give offenders with mental ill health, a learning disability or other vulnerability, the opportunity to get the right treatment as quickly as possible. We have found working with Durham Constabulary exceptionally supportive and hope that the service is of mutual benefit to the offender, police officers and partner agencies working within custody”.

Durham’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Ron Hogg added: “It is vitally important that partner agencies work together, to ensure offenders get the treatment they need if they are vulnerable or suffer from poor mental health. I am pleased that the liaison and diversion service is now available across the Constabulary area, meaning more individuals get this essential support when they need it the most.”

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For further information please contact the communications team, Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys NHS Foundation Trust on 01325 552223.  Out of hours on 07920297057.

Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys NHS Foundation Trust (TEWV) was formed in April 2006 and was authorised as a foundation trust on 1 July 2008. The Trust provides mental health services for the people of County Durham, Tees Valley and parts of North Yorkshire. It also provides a range of learning disability and addictive behaviour services in the area, as well specialist mental health and learning disability services to other parts of northern England.

TEWV has over 6,500 staff working out of several sites. We deliver our services by working in partnership with seven local authorities and primary care trusts, a wide range of voluntary organisations, as well as service users, their carers and the public. The services are spread over a wide geographical area which includes coastal, rural and industrial areas.

For more information contact the communications team on Tel: 01325 552223 or tewv.enquiries@nhs.net

Posted on Friday 6th November 2015
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