The liaison and diversion service provides specialist mental health assessment for people with vulnerabilities, including mental health concerns, who are in the criminal justice system. This means the person might be in court or a police station, or with a youth offending team (YOT).

The team of specialist nurses, social workers, occupational therapists and doctors:

  • Care for adults and children who need support during what can be a very stressful experience
  • Work to get the best health and justice outcomes for them; no one is judged for being in the criminal justice system.

Find out more about diversion by watching the Centre for Justice Innovation YouTube video here.

  • Our court team works in Westminster Court and Highbury Youth Court.We now also have a new post based at Isleworth Crown Court which is part of the wider liaison and diversion service. This will support and further-develop working partnerships with the health sector, social services and the criminal justice system, focusing on the Crown Court.

The service is available Monday to Friday between 9am - 5pm and is provided by an experienced mental health practitioner.

  • Our police liaison teams work at Acton and Hammersmith police stations.

    It has been recognised for some time that people with a mental health problems and other issues of vulnerability don’t always get the support they need when they’re brought into a police station.

A team of 9 clinical practitioners cover police custody suites in Hammersmith and Acton, seven days a weekFor further information or to discuss a referral, please contact team administration on 020 8483 2340.

Find a police station.

What we do

For example, a liaison psychiatric nurse and liaison psychiatrist work at Westminster Court, as part of a wider team of nurses and social workers.

They will:

  • Check if a person is well enough to take part in a court hearing/legal process
  • Give magistrates, solicitors and the police, better information about individuals, to help them make decisions
  • Make sure very unwell people are brought to hospital 
  • Help other vulnerable people reach the most appropriate services for them in the community.

The liaison diversion service also works to: 

  • Divert individuals, where appropriate, out of the criminal justice system into health or other supportive services 
  • Work with other agencies to improve access to healthcare and support services for vulnerable people, and so reduce health inequalities
  • Reduce re-offending
  • Improve court case management by providing relevant mental health information (with defendants consent) leading to informed court decisions

  • Assist the court in providing up to date information on a defendant’s mental health

  • Offer a single referral/contact point for those inside and outside of the court in any court process when mental health issues arise such as to prisons, magistrates’ courts and secure facilities

  • Carry out ad hoc assessments at Court and advise referrers who have requested the assessments of any findings.

  • Police officers, detention staff and custody health care nurses make referrals at police stations. 
  • Individuals can self-refer or access our service by request at any custody suite or court. They can also request any professional, including the police, court staff, and detention officers to make a referral on their behalf.  
  • Court staff, defence representatives or custody staff make referrals at court. All defendants are screened each morning during the week.

If you have been seen by the youth justice liaison and diversion team at court, the police station or somewhere else, we want your views on the service we provided.

Tell us what we did well and what we could do better.

Please complete our online survey.

Jessica Baker Meet Jessica Baker, a Senior Liaison and Diversion Practitioner at the Trust. She helps provide assessment and care for vulnerable people with mental health problems in the criminal justice system. We spoke to her about her ‘out of the box’ nursing role at the Trust…

Read more about her role in our liaison and diversion service here.