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Procurement: Launch of healthcare in custody police tenders

BlueLight Commercial is to hold a market engagement event following the launch of seven new tenders for custody healthcare provision

BlueLight Commercial, in collaboration with 13 police forces, has announced the launch of seven new tenders over the next four months, for the provision of healthcare services in custody. These latest tenders have an estimated contract value of £36m, over an average five-year contract term.

The 43 police forces of England and Wales, spend approximately £21m per year on healthcare services in custody and our pipeline indicates that a further 5 Forces will need to tender next year, 7 in 2023 and up to 9 forces will need to tender in 2024.

Healthcare and forensic services operate within custody suites to provide clinical assessment, intervention, advice and guidance of a detainee’s fitness for detention, interview, charge or supports an exit release risk assessment. The service also provides support to the forensic process, carrying out activities such as taking samples for evidence purposes.

A number of police forces have been working successfully with their local NHS service to provide custodial healthcare services and forces would be particularly interested in exploring new opportunities to work with NHS trusts.

Interested parties, including NHS staff, are invited to join BlueLight Commercial and the individual forces at a virtual Market Engagement Event on 22nd July 2021.

The afternoon will give an overview of the new standardised approach, and provide an opportunity to chat with and explore local requirements with individual police forces including Derbyshire, South-West Collaboration, Greater Manchester, Cumbria, Lancashire and Welsh Force Collaboration.

The Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 and its Codes of Practice (PACE) sets out a statutory framework for custodial care and requires police forces to provide care and treatment to persons held in custody and gives them access to a competent, qualified, and trained Healthcare Professionals and Advanced Practitioners on a 24/7 or on-call basis.

Durham and the Yorkshire and Humber police forces have been working successfully with their local NHS service to provide custodial healthcare services and forces would be particularly interested in exploring new opportunities to work with NHS trusts.   

Jason Meecham, Temporary Chief Inspector with Durham says: “Durham Constabulary have worked in partnership with County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust for several years now, ensuring the safe provision of healthcare across our Custody facilities. Working alongside the custody staff, the healthcare professionals provide essential care, guidance and support 24/7, “

Dr Meng Aw-Yong, Medical Director Metropolitan Police Service, says: “Working in custody is a unique experience. Many healthcare professionals are worried but it’s a safe environment. You have your personal bodyguards and detainees are all searched unlike in hospitals. Detainees view you as helping them and in my 25 years of working in custody I have never felt scared. Custody work is so interesting providing you with an insight into a different world of fraud, drug and alcohol misuse, mental health, drink drive cases, murders and even terrorism. There is a link of custody with A&E and custody provides a golden moment where healthcare professionals can make a huge difference with referrals to A&E for alcohol, drug and mental health as many detainees do not even have that opportunity.”

BlueLight Commercial has been working with forces to develop a standard healthcare specification and national key performance indicators. All these new tenders are aligned with this new standard approach, although each has been tailored to reflect local force requirements.

Interested parties, including NHS staff, are invited to join BlueLight Commercial and the individual forces at a virtual Market Engagement Event on the afternoon of 22nd July 2021.

To register please email  healthcareincustody@bluelight.police.uk registrations are limited to two attendees per supplier.

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