New framework to give added value to criminal justice service | News and events

New framework to give added value to criminal justice service

A team of health professionals working within the criminal justice system has adopted a national career and competency framework to help blend their skills and evidence their standard of work.

Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust employs midwives, paramedics, health visitors and others working alongside mental health nurses, learning disability nurses, general nurses, social workers in police investigation centres and courts.

The Liaison and Diversion service aims to improve health, social and criminal justice outcomes for people suspected of crimes, supporting safer communities for everyone.

Jem French, Operational Lead for the Liaison and Diversion Service (LaDS) at Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust, said: This framework is a fantastic resource for us, helping us to identify training priorities, open up additional recruitment opportunities and providing assurance for all our service users and stakeholders that should boost confidence in the team. We employ people from many different professional backgrounds and this will ensure they continue to work to national occupational standards.”

Health Education England commissioned Skills for Health to develop The National Career and Competence Framework for Liaison and Diversion with the aim of developing a flexible workforce able to respond to people with vulnerabilities who are either in or at risk of becoming involved with the Criminal Justice System.

The framework outlines the work of the L and D service and will support the development and growth of the workforce in this area and within mental health services, opening up new career opportunities for L and D workers.

“A clear career and progression structure will help us to recruit people into the Liaison and Diversion workforce and should support the retention of staff,” Jem said.

“The diversity of our workforce and the experience, skills and knowledge this brings, has provided significant benefits including improving new clinical pathways, like our perinatal pathway which was put together and is championed by a midwife and our Gypsy, Roma and Traveller pathway which has been led by a paramedic.” said Jem. “It also means we can fill L and D posts without taking staff away from other NSFT teams.”

Clinical team leader Abi Wallace, a social worker with a background in child protection, was the first person in the team to have a go at evidencing her competence and had the following reflections on the process: “When I was considering the evidence to show I meet the competences, I found that many relate to our mandatory training and sessions we have held throughout the year at L&D meetings. I was able to link training courses I have completed and once you are in that mindset it doesn't take long.” 

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