New contract awarded to help Mersey Care deliver new fully integrated liaison, diversion and healthcare service

Mersey Care will work alongside Mitie Care & Custody to deliver the first fully integrated liaison, diversion and healthcare service in Merseyside following the award of a new five year contract.

Mitie will work with Mersey Care 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 new contract includes the option to extend for another two years and will combine Merseyside Police’s custody healthcare provision with NHS England and Improvement's liaison and diversion service for the first time, making Merseyside just the fourth police force in England to do so.

This should ensure 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.

“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,” explained Sadie Canning-Dosser, Operational Manager for Mersey Care.

Mitie will also 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. They will ensure 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.

Colin Dobell, Mitie'Care and Custody Managing Director said: "“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."

The new contract begins on 1 October 2020 and Ngaire Waine, Merseyside Police's Chief Superintendent, said: "We're delighted to commission this and hope that together, we can go further towards supporting vulnerable people who may find themselves in our custody suites."

Julie Dhuny, Head of Health and Justice, NHS England and NHS Improvement, North Region added: "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.”