MPFT provides Liaison and Diversion Services across four counties. These specialised teams work within police custody suites, courts and in the community.

The West Mercia service for Shropshire, Herefordshire and Worcestershire covers the police custody suites in Telford, Shrewsbury, Hereford, Worcester and Kidderminster. In South Staffordshire, MPFT’s service covers the Watling Street custody suite and Cannock Magistrates Court. 

The teams assess vulnerable individuals with complex needs who are being brought into the Criminal Justice System having been accused of criminal activity. These needs include, but are not limited to, support with mental health or a learning disability, alcohol or substance misuse, homelessness, financial needs or social difficulties.

N.B. criminal justice mental health services in North Staffordshire are provided by North Staffordshire Combined Healthcare NHS Trust.


Why are L&D services needed?

The evidence is that vulnerable people (both youth and adult) with unmet needs are more likely to come into contact with criminal justice services than the general population.  They are also more likely to be victims of domestic violence and the emotional and social impact of being suspected of, or charged with, a crime can be more significant.

By identifying and addressing these unmet needs at the earliest opportunity, it is expected that the risk of re-offending behaviours will reduce, contributing to a reduction in future contacts with the Criminal Justice System

Head and shoulders image of MatthewMatthew is a Support Time Recovery worker in the Liaison and Diversion Team. His role provides support to people with mental health needs who come into contact with the criminal justice system.

“I enjoy working with a wide variety of people and seeing the difference that can be made to people's lives in a short space of time.”

Head and shoulder image of KatyKaty is a team lead for Liaison and Diversion and works with children who have come across the criminal justice system. "I love my job because I work with a team of people who are passionate about helping young people in having better physical and mental health. Our role is to find out what got a child to that point and most importantly to see the child first before their offending behaviour.

“We get to spend our days prioritising children and have the time to make a real difference to the kids of Stoke and Staffordshire.”

Head and shoulders image of JanayaJanaya is a former cancer and surgery staff nurse within the NHS and private sector. Since working with the Liaison & Diversion team she has found the role to be exceptionally rewarding. "We have the opportunity to talk to the young people aged 10-18 within our city, their family and carers, offering confidential advice and support to prevent re offending. As a practitioner we liaise with multi agency professionals and help young people to get the intervention they require to meet their needs".

“I gain immense satisfaction from helping young people to be diverted away from the criminal justice system”

head and shoulders image of LauraLaura works alongside the Youth Offending Team to identify areas of support for Children that have come into contact with the criminal justice system.

She completes a health assessment which consists of information gathering around the child’s physical & emotional health, their social circumstances, schooling and any other behaviours that might require intervention or support.

"I love building positive professional relationships with the children so they can form similar relationships with external services and access the support they require".

Amy Ashcroft web.jpgAmy is a Liaison and Diversion Practition.  She says "I’m passionate and committed to my role within the Liaison and Diversion service and enjoy working with potentially hard to reach individuals that are involved in the criminal justice system.  I find it very rewarding when I am able establish a rapport when assessing for potential health inequalities and then direct the individual to the services that can address their unmet needs. Working with external professionals and agencies to promote the individual’s engagement with health and social care services, can potentially contribute to reducing risk of reoffending".

Head and shoulders image of Scott JenkinsonScott Jenkinson is a Lived Experience Support Worker, he says, "I am 36 years old and I'm a lived experience worker. I was in a circle of friends that used cocaine on a daily basis for 10 years. My addiction led to me dealing the drug, and dealing the drug eventually led me to suffering heart seizures and then a 7 year prison sentence.

"I now have 5 year old twins, and a 1 year old. I have almost completed an English Bachelor's Degree and will be continuing to complete an MA".

Head and shoulders image of Phillip TweatsPhilip Tweats is a Lived Experience Support Worker, he says "When I applied for the peer worker position, what interested and intrigued me most was the part of the criteria which stated it would be ideal if the applicant had experience of the criminal justice system (CJS). You don’t see that on many job application forms!

"Getting this job is the best thing that has happened to me. Not once have I felt judged because of my past – in fact quite the opposite. I feel as though I am an important part of the team, whose values and opinions are listened to, and in some cases used in a solution to a problem. With the help and support of my work colleagues from the L&D Team, who have gave me the confidence in sharing my lived experiences, I believe it is sometimes a winning combination in improving the quality of life for our clients".

Head and shoulders image of Racheal Beavon-PeeRacheal Beavon-Pee is a Lived Experience Support Worker, she says "As a peer worker I work in a team of social workers, mental health professionals and Practitioners. I meet people who come into the L and D service and relate to them in whatever way I can, using my own lived experience of services and from being in the system to getting down into the hole they are in and trying to pull them out. I support people through the court process in which some have never done before but with lived experience comes a deeper understanding of how they are feeling and most of the time it is easy to connect. I use my own mental health experience to let them know they’re not on their own and validate their own fears and struggles".


The Liaison and Diversion Service

The team consists of Social Workers, Registered Mental Health Nurses, Support Time & Recovery workers (STR), Lived Experience Support Workers and the administration staff. The team assess vulnerable individuals with complex needs who are in the criminal justice system having been suspected of an offence. These needs include, but are not limited to, mental health and learning disabilities needs, alcohol and substance misuse, homelessness, and financial needs.

All individuals who are assessed and found to be in need of further specialist intervention will be referred to the appropriate services. This is done by using existing pathways for those particular services. This can include hospital admission via Mental Health Act Assessment in custody or referrals to the Crisis Team, primary and secondary mental health services or prison in-reach.

We can also look at support through the criminal justice system including when returning to custody on bail, being charged with an offence or through the court process. 

Who uses our service?

Individuals can be referred to the Liaison and Diversion Service by colleagues throughout the criminal justice process alongside self-referrals from individuals who have been arrested or present at magistrate’s court. A liaison and diversion tool is completed by custody staff for individuals who are in police custody, this enables the liaison and diversion practitioners to identify and prioritise those individuals who would most benefit from screening and assessment.

We also accept referrals from out of area liaison and diversion services, and can refer individuals to their local services if they consent to this.

What support can we offer?

Liaison and Diversion offers varied levels of support, this can include but is not limited to;

  • Screening and assessment of needs / vulnerabilities,
  • Providing information, advice and signposting a to appropriate services,
  • Supporting individuals to self-refer or referring individuals to appropriate primary, secondary, social care and third sector services,
  • Liaising with services already providing support to the individual,
  • Providing short term support through the Outreach Pathway; either whilst awaiting an appointment following a referral, or supporting with the initial transitions following an individual’s arrest,
  • Providing a multi-agency supportive approach to individual’s needs,
  • Providing support, help and guidance throughout the criminal justice process, for example during police investigations and court appearances – the level of support will be dependent on each individual’s needs,
  • Action required to address any risks identified; including referral to Safeguarding for Adults and Children,
  • Offering help with access to drug and alcohol support services, housing and financial advice, or support with other social issues.

How to access our service?

Our referrals are mainly received from professionals who work within the criminal justice agency setting. This includes custody staff, custody healthcare professionals, and substance misuse services. Contact from concerned or interested persons and self-referral are also accepted, as are referrals for assessment from outside agencies already providing care to the person.

People of any age can access our service, there is no age restriction. The individual to be assessed must be in police custody / court or attend one of our assessment clinics as arranged whilst in custody / court.

All individuals who are assessed and found to be in need of further specialist intervention will be referred to the appropriate services. This is done by using existing pathways for those particular services. This includes hospital admission, Crisis Team, primary and secondary mental health services, substance misuse services, prison in-reach services, GP and relevant third sector or voluntary agency services.


Contact our service

Our service can be accessed Monday to Friday, 08:00 to 19:00 and Saturday / Sunday, 09:00 to 17:00.

An individual can access our service by self-referral whilst in police custody by making staff aware they wish to speak to a practitioner.

Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin
01743 210080 


Worcester and Kidderminster

Our service can be accessed in custody Monday to Friday, 09:00 to 20:00 and Saturday / Sunday / Bank Holidays 09:00 to 17:00.

Our community support can be accessed Monday to Friday, 09:00 to 17:00 (except Bank Holidays).
07814 831 231


New access to a package of digital resources to support mental wellbeing

Silvercloud Digital Mental Health Platform with a man on his phoneSilvercloud activities and videos can be used independently or with feedback from an online supporter. People using Forensic inpatient, Liaison and Diversion, Offender Personality Disorder; Integrated Offender Management and Mental Health Treatment Requirement services at MPFT can speak to someone involved in their care to find out how to access the programme.


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