Expand mental health work with Dorset healthcare
This commitment was originally set while the Police & Crime Commissioner (PCC) was the national lead for mental health, a role that he has subsequently stepped down from. However, the PCC remains passionate about mental health issues and their impact on crime, policing and community safety. The commitment reflects the desire to continue to work with partners to improve services to victims and keep vulnerable people safe.
The Dorset Crisis Care Concordat is a commitment from all health, emergency services and local authority partners locally to improve the care for people in mental health crisis. By working more closely together, a number of initiatives and improvements have been introduced in recent years.
Specifically, the Dorset Mental Health Forum has run education courses for victims and the availability of such courses has increased during the term of office. The courses help equip vulnerable victims of crime to reduce their risk of further offences being carried out against them.
More generally, the PCC has agreed (in principal) to support a successful Dorset Health University Foundation Trust (DHUFT) bid to Bournemouth University for a Criminal Justice Liaison & Diversion Service (CJLDS) linked PhD study which will explore the scope for expanding the service further. The CJLDS itself has been offered new contract by NHS England until 2022 (with an option to extend further).
The PCC has also concluded the process for re-tendering victim support services in Dorset, with a new three-year contract being awarded to Victim Support, commencing in October 2019. Whilst Victim Support provide support to victims of most crimes, specialist support and referrals can be made for those who are more vulnerable or have specific needs relating to their mental health.