The Nottingham L&D service recently featured on the BBC ‘News at Ten’, as well as BBC Radio 4 and local radio. The piece focused on how L&D services support people at the arrest stage, with a focus on mental health issues. The team did a great job and the piece is very powerful. It also features Kate Davies, Director for Health & Justice, Armed Forces and SARCs, NHS England, as well as interviews with police staff, L&D staff and service users. Thanks and congratulations to the Nottingham service, especially to those directly involved in the filming. This link takes you to a web page with background information, where you can then click on the piece called ‘Tackling mental health in police custody.’
Hampshire Liaison and Diversion service on the BBC
The Hampshire Liaison and Diversion (L&D) Service, Solent NHS Trust, was featured in the BBC documentary ‘Inside Out’ (for the South). The programme touched on the role of Hampshire L&D Service, as well as other criminal justice agencies, as it followed a service user going through Portsmouth Courts. Extracts of the documentary were also featured on the ‘BBC South Today’ show.
The BBC interviewed a practitioner from the service to understand the individual’s journey in more detail. The practitioner explained that in the Court Report they issued they recommended the Court issue a Mental Health Treatment Requirement for the individual which was given.
Daran MacFarland, the Service Development Manager in the filming, noted that, “It was a good outcome, as it enabled the service user to remain engaged in mental health treatment and avoid a custodial sentence. Overall the programme was positive about L&D services; although I’m not sure Steven Spielberg will be ringing me anytime soon…!”
Promoting good news L&D stories locally
The great work of the L&D service based in South Essex Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust was recently featured in their regional newsletter distributed within Bedfordshire, Essex and Luton. The newsletter article explains the role of the service as a whole, and explores how this has developed since it was launched. It includes comments from both practitioners and service users about the impact the scheme has had so far.
Celebrating the work of the North and North East London Liaison and Diversion Trial Site
Fabio Gomes, Project Manager for the London L&D trial site, provides an overview of the recent Howard League for Penal Reform event to celebrate the success of North East London trial site.
Every year, the Howard League for Penal Reform hosts awards for the country’s most successful community projects encouraging desistance from crime and celebrating best practice in diversionary work and community schemes that change people’s lives for the better. A year after receiving theCommunity Award for the best Liaison and Diversion practice in England, the Howard League held an event to celebrate the successes of the North and North East London L&D Trial Site.
The event was chaired by Frances Crook, Howard League’s Chief Executive, who drew attention to the strength of the partnerships between the L&D providers to deliver positive outcomes for service users. This was reflected in the presentation by East London Foundation NHS Foundation Trust, represented by Operations Manager Gareth Richards, who told a very human story about people that come into contact with L&D services, and how agencies can work together to successfully overcome barriers.
Maria Thorn, Assistant Director at North East London NHS Foundation Trust, Mark Landy, Assistant Clinical Director from Barnet, Enfield and Haringey Mental Health Trust and Sinead Dervin, Senior Mental Health Commissioning Manager at NHS England, all spoke passionately about the work of L&D services.
A judiciary perspective was given by David Radford, Resident Judge at Snaresbrook Crown Court. As a guest speaker, Judge Radford delivered an enlightening and interesting presentation that provided an overview of the work of the Crown Courts, as well as highlighting how an L&D practitioner can be “part of the furniture” in a Crown Court and the benefits the service brings to Court users, staff and the judiciary.
Inspector Danny Hewitt and Custody Manager Mark Woodward spoke on behalf of the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) about the challenges they face in supporting L&D within police custody suites, stressing that officers welcome the service despite these challenges. Inspector Woodward was able to paint a picture of how MPS staff and healthcare professionals can work together to better identify and support vulnerable people who come into contact with the police.
Community Link Workers Becky O’Connell and Sarrah Husain, employed by Together for Mental Wellbeing, provided the audience with testimonials about their support work alongside service users, including accessing and engaging with services in the community. There was overwhelming positive feedback from service users about how the emotional and practical support provided had helped them and how they wanted more support workers like Sarrah and Becky.
An innovative peer support service within the London L&D site was officially launched by Jess Worner-Rodger, Peer Support Practice Manager at Together for Mental Wellbeing. Jess described the key elements of Together’s peer support model, explaining how it can ensure that services are more user-led. Jess also talked about the values that underpin the model, highlighting the importance of mutuality, focusing upon the benefits for both the person receiving the support and the person providing it. This is the first peer support service within L&D in London and we look forward to the new challenges ahead and will keep you all updated.
Look out for more on peer-support work in future editions of the bulletin.
L&D at the Youth Justice Convention
6 January 2016
A seminar entitled ‘Making liaison and diversion services work for young people’ delivered in November as part of the annual Youth Justice Convention, held at the King Power Stadium in Leicester, provided an excellent opportunity to promote the work of L&D services to an audience of youth justice practitioners.
Glyn Thomas presented an overview of the L&D programme, while Sinead Dervin and Jo Brennan from NHS England London Region outlined how they were addressing the challenges of commissioning an all-age model. Donna Beard, Matron from the Sussex L&D scheme, presented case studies illustrating the value that L&D services bring in delivering improved outcomes for young people and how they complement the existing diversionary work undertaken by youth offending services.