Quality statement 3: Sharing mental health care plans

Quality statement

Adults with mental health problems who are in contact with the criminal justice system have a care plan that is shared with relevant services.

Rationale

Sharing a person's mental health care plan with other relevant services, for example, police, prison, probation services and social services, will help to ensure that they receive the treatment and support they need. This is particularly important when a person has been detained within the criminal justice system (such as in police or prison custody), and when plans are being made for them to leave it, because there are many agencies who may need to be involved in their care. Sharing the care plan as early as possible will allow for advance planning, help to ensure continuity of care and improve outcomes.

Quality measures

Structure

Evidence of local arrangements for mental health care plans to include an agreed process for the plan to be shared with relevant services both inside and outside the criminal justice system.

Data source: Local data collection, for example local information sharing and care plan protocols, and transfer of care policies.

Process

Proportion of adults with mental health problems in contact with the criminal justice system whose care plan is shared with the services identified in the plan as involved in their ongoing care.

Numerator – the number in the denominator whose mental health care plan is shared with the services identified in the plan as involved in their ongoing care.

Denominator – the number of adults in contact with the criminal justice system with a mental health care plan.

Data source: Local data collection, for example an audit of mental health care plans and transfer records.

Outcome

a) Continuity of care for adults with mental health problems in contact with the criminal justice system.

Data source: Local data collection, for example an audit of mental health care plans.

b) Referral rates to mental health services, for example liaison and diversion to prison mental health services or prison mental health services to community mental health teams.

Data source: Local data collection, for example an audit of custody reports.

What the quality statement means for different audiences

Service providers (for example police, court, probation, prison and mental health services) ensure that there is an agreed cross-organisational process for mental health care plans to be shared.

Criminal justice professionals and mental health practitioners (for example police, court, prison and probation professionals and mental health practitioners) check whether the adults they come into contact with have a mental health care plan and request a copy of this if necessary. They share the plan with the next service(s) the person is in contact with when they leave the service. Mental health practitioners writing a care plan ensure that it includes a process, agreed with the person, for sharing the plan to relevant services and agencies.

Commissioners (police and crime commissioners, local authorities, NHS England and clinical commissioning groups) ensure that commissioned services have processes in place to ensure that mental health care plans developed for people in contact with the criminal justice system can be shared across services to ensure partnership working and continuity of care.

Adults with mental health problems who are in contact with the criminal justice system have a mental health care plan, which includes an agreed plan for sharing it with other services. This will help to make sure all services they have contact with, for example courts, prisons, probation, housing and healthcare, can follow the plan to ensure they receive the right care.

Source guidance

Mental health of adults in contact with the criminal justice system (2017) NICE guideline NG66, recommendation 1.5.1

Definitions of terms used in this quality statement

Mental health care plan

A mental health plan, developed in collaboration with the person and, if possible, their family, carers and advocates. It should be sharable, integrated with other care plans and include:

  • a profile of the person's needs (including physical health needs), identifying agreed goals and the means to progress towards them

  • identification of the roles and responsibilities of those practitioners involved in delivering the care plan

  • the implications of any mandated treatment programmes, post-release licences and transfer between institutions or agencies, in particular release from prison

  • a clear strategy to access all identified interventions and services

  • agreed outcome measures and timescale to evaluate and review the plan

  • a risk management plan and a crisis plan if developed

  • an agreed process for sharing the care plan (such as the Care Programme Approach or Care Treatment Plan) to all relevant agencies, the person, and their families and carers, subject to permission from the person if necessary.

[Adapted from NICE's guideline on mental health of adults in contact with the criminal justice system, recommendation 1.5.1]

Equality and diversity considerations

Adults in contact with the criminal justice system who have a mental health problem should be involved in the development of their own care plan, including how it will be shared with relevant services to ensure they receive ongoing support and care. Their family or carers should also be included, as appropriate.

Adults with a learning disability, cognitive impairment (for example, brain injury, dementia or autism) or a communication difficulty (for example, language, literacy, information processing or sensory deficit) may need additional support when the care plan is being developed.

Information about their care plan should be in a format that suits their needs and preferences. It should accessible to people who do not speak or read English, and it should be culturally appropriate and age appropriate. People should have access to an interpreter or advocate if needed.

For people with additional needs related to a disability, impairment or sensory loss, information should be provided as set out in NHS England's Accessible Information Standard.