Trusts work together on Liaison and Diversion pilot scheme

Dudley and Walsall Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust have teamed up with Black Country Partnership NHS Foundation Trust to help deliver the government’s Liaison and Diversion pilot scheme.

The new service, part of an £800,000 investment across Dudley, Sandwell, Walsall and Wolverhampton, has been in operation since April. It sees more mental health personnel based at police stations and courts to ensure people of all ages with mental health issues, a learning disability, substance misuse problems or other vulnerabilities are identified and assessed as early as possible as they pass through the criminal justice system.

Jacky O'Sullivan, Clinical Development Director for Dudley and Walsall Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust explained: “We put together a joint bid with the Black Country to enhance our links with the community and to develop a service that aims to improve access to healthcare for those people who come into contact with the criminal justice system.”

This pilot is part of the second wave of trials commissioned by NHS England. The success of the scheme will be evaluated and, if HM Treasury approves the full business case, extended to the rest of the country by 2017.