Launch of new Health and Justice Service in Cheshire page thumbnail

A new service enhancing the health and social care support provided to individuals in contact with criminal justice services across Cheshire has been launched.

The Cheshire Health and Justice Service will provide additional support to individuals with learning disabilities, substance misuse problems, mental health concerns or other vulnerabilities.

Led by Midlands Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust, it brings together existing Liaison & Diversion services previously delivered by Cheshire & Wirral Partnership NHS Foundation Trust and Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust, while also introducing new RECONNECT services and Outreach Teams.

  • Liaison & Diversion assesses vulnerable individuals with complex needs being brought into the criminal justice system, having been accused of criminal activity; including but not limited to support with learning disabilities or mental health, alcohol or substance misuse, homelessness, financial needs, or social difficulties.
  • RECONNECT seeks to improve the continuity of care of vulnerable people leaving prison by working with them before they leave and supporting their transition to community-based services, thereby safeguarding health gains made whilst in prison. It works with service users and partners to offer support and release planning to individuals for up to 12 weeks prior to release or as soon as they are referred within the 12 weeks prior to release. Work is ongoing to develop the service for a phased go-live from April 2024.

The new service supports individuals at each point of the criminal justice process; from those suspected of a crime, to those who have been convicted and those being released from prison. It is provided across the community, police custody, courts, and prison, with a focus on identification, screening and prioritisation, assessment, and intervention.

Jane Pulfer, Head of the Health and Justice Service said: “This exciting launch sees one service being provided within the community, police custody, courts, and prisons within the Cheshire area that is focused on identification, screening and prioritisation, assessment, and intervention. We’re delighted to be delivering the new service, which it is hoped will support with the reduction of re-offending locally.”