Liaison and Diversion Schemes in England: an evaluation of impact on reconviction, health service utilisation and diversion from the criminal justice sytem


Study ID: 31938
Short Title: Outcome Evaluation of Liaison and Diversion Schemes
Organisation: Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust
Location: Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust
Condition: Mental Health
Main Specialty: Mental Health
Expected End Date: 31/01/2019
Postcode: SO30 3JB
Contact Name: SHFT Research
Contact Email: research@southernhealth.nhs.uk
Active: Yes

Inclusion Criteria

L&D SERVICE USERS: Adult service users (both male and female) aged 18 and over who enter the L&D service at a research site during the recruitment period of the study and who have the capacity to consent for themselves will be considered for participation.


Participants should all demonstrate the ability to understand fully what is proposed, and to use and weigh this information in reaching an independent decision.


L&D SERVICE STAFF INTERVIEWS Purposively selected management and team leadership staff responsible for managing the delivery of L&D services at the 25 L&D sites during the research period.

Exclusion Criteria

L&D SERVICE USERS: - L&D service users aged under 18 - Service users who L&D practitioners deem not to have the capacity to provide informed consent. Capacity will be assessed by trained L&D practitioners, accustomed to providing support services to offenders with mental health and learning difficulties and to obtaining consent from them for a range of comparable matters.


L&D SERVICE STAFF Staff without leadership or management responsibilities during the research period.

Study summary:

Liaison and Diversion (L&D) services aim to identify people experiencing mental health problems and learning disabilities (among other vulnerabilities) as they pass through the criminal justice system (CJS) to ensure their health and other needs are known about and that they are referred to services to address their needs. NHS England recently launched a National Model for L&D services to ensure consistent provision across the country. The National Model was launched in 10 sites in 2014 and rolled out in 12 further sites in 2015. Additional expansion of some original sites made a total of 25 L&D sites in 2015 (across 32 NHS Trusts). The research team conducting this study previously evaluated the implementation of the National Model in the wave 1 sites.
The extended evaluation will aim to assess whether the National Model for L&D has any impact on conviction rates, diversion from the criminal justice system or the use of health services, particularly, A&E, drug treatment, mental health treatment and outpatient services. The research will run from September 2016 to May 2019.
For service users in all sites, the study will compare reconviction rates, diversion outcomes and use of healthcare services for 12 months before and 12 months after implementation of the L&D service. For wave 1 sites only, the researchers will compare service users’ outcomes to those of a similar group of people who have not received the National Model L&D service.
The researchers will supplement these quantitative comparative data with telephone interviews with staff in the 25 sites. In addition they will conduct an economic evaluation to estimate the short and longer term costs and outcomes of L&D services compared with no L&D services from the perspectives of the NHS, CJS and society in order to determine where there is a net benefit from the service.


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