Plans to base mental health teams in police stations and courts in north east London will help cut reoffending and reduce health inequalities, a doctor for NHS England said.
Dr Alison Frater, Head of Public Health and Health in the Justice System at NHS England in London, said:
People with mental health issues and other vulnerabilities who come into contact with the youth and adult justice systems often don’t get the support and treatment they need and even when they do, it doesn’t happen very quickly.
This pilot will help ensure individuals can get the right help in a timely manner, so we can cut health inequalities, improve physical and mental health, reduce crime and re-offending, and increase the efficiency and effectiveness of the criminal justice system.
London doctors were given permission to perform an urgent Caesarean section on a mentally-ill woman last night.
A High Court judge ordered the surgery after concluding that the woman lacked the mental capacity to make the decision at a hearing in the Court of Protection yesterday.
Mr Justice Hayden gave specialists working for the Royal Free London NHS Trust the go-ahead late last night. Lawyers representing the trust today said the baby had been delivered without any problem in the early hours and the woman had hugged a surgeon after recovering consciousness.
The judge described the decision as "draconian", but said he had heard evidence that the woman's life might have been in danger and had concluded the woman, who is 32 and was 32 weeks pregnant, lacked the mental capacity to make the decision herself.
A High Court Judge heard a pregnant woman was thought to be suffering from paranoid schizophrenia and had attempted suicide.
The decision to compel a Caesarean Section on an incapacitous woman who is mentally and physically ill is an extremely draconian one,
Doctors do not embark upon this lightly. It occurs extremely rarely. It is one that the lawyers also take very seriously indeed.
– High Court judge Mr Justice Hayden.
As he ruled that doctors should be given permission to perform a urgent The judge said neither the woman nor the hospital could be identified but he said the health authority could and should be named.
He said the scrutiny of doctors' conduct could only "serve to reassure public confidence".
The Court of Protection is part of the High Court and analyses issues relating to sick and vulnerable people.
The Centre for Mental Health has welcomed plans for mental health professionals to be placed in prison stations as part of a drive to reduce reoffending by mentally ill patients.
Liaison and diversion teams provide immediate advice and help to the police when they arrest someone with a mental health difficulty. They can screen for mental health problems and learning difficulties in both adults and children who come into police custody and secure the right support for those who need it.
We are pleased that the Government has given the go-ahead to further development of liaison and diversion services. This year it will be five years since the Bradley Report was published and it is vital that good quality mental health support for adults and children alike is available in every police station and court in England.
– Centre for Mental Health chief executive Sean Duggan
Mental health nurses are to be posted in police stations and courts in London in an attempt to reduce reoffending by mentally ill criminals.
The £25 million scheme is also being piloted in Merseyside, Avon and Wiltshire, Leicester, Sussex, Dorset, Sunderland and Middlesbrough, Coventry, south Essex and Wakefield over the next year.
We want to help them get the right support and treatment as early as possible. Diverting the individual away from offending and helping to reduce the risk of more victims suffering due to further offences benefits everyone.
– Care and support minister Norman Lamb
If the pilot is successful, the measure will be rolled out across the rest of the country by 2017.