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First 'Health and Criminal Justice Tsar' announced

23 Mar 2010

University of Manchester Professor of Psychiatry Louis Appleby will be the first National Clinical Director for Health and Criminal Justice it was announced today (Wednesday).

Professor Appleby is the new Health and Criminal Justice Tsar
Professor Appleby is the new Health and Criminal Justice Tsar

The move reflects an increased focus on improving the mental health of offenders and develops responsibilities from Professor Appleby’s current work as National Clinical Director for Mental Health Services.

Professor Appleby, who is Director of the University’s Centre for Suicide Prevention, will champion the Government’s action plan ‘Improving Health, Supporting Justice’, which sets out measures to get health and criminal justice services working together more effectively.

The action plan aims to address health and social care problems as early as possible in a person’s contact with the criminal justice system and to develop more effective interventions for offenders. This will be achieved by working closely with the cross-government Health and Criminal Justice Programme Board.

Professor Appleby, who is also Director of the Manchester-based National Confidential Inquiry into Suicide and Homicide by People with Mental Illness, said: “Offenders have poor health and poor health care. My aim is to change this and, in particular, reduce the number of mentally ill people in prison.

“My research group at the University has studied suicides in prisons and I intend to draw on our findings on, for example, the need for better links between services in prison and the community.”

Care Services Minister Phil Hope added: “As the first National Clinical Director for Health and Criminal Justice, Louis Appleby will be at the forefront of reform to get health services and the criminal justice system working together.

“Offenders, and those at risk of offending, are more likely to have health issues, like mental illnesses and substance misuse. Louis has the experience and drive to have a real impact on tackling these issues and reducing re-offending.”

Ends

Notes for editors

Louis Appleby is National Director for Mental Health in England and has played a central role in plans to reform mental health services, bringing in a range of new services including home treatment, early intervention and assertive outreach teams, and mental health legislation. He has led numerous initiatives including work to reduce suicides and improve the physical environment of mental health wards. Since 1996 he has been Professor of Psychiatry at The University of Manchester and since 1991 a consultant psychiatrist in Manchester. He was awarded a CBE for services to medicine in the 2006 New Year Honours’ List.

Dr Hugh Griffiths has been appointed Deputy National Clinical Director for Health and Criminal Justice. Dr Griffiths has been a consultant psychiatrist in the North-East of England since 1988 and for eight years (until December 2002) was an NHS Trust Medical Director. In 2000 he also became Medical Director of the Northern Centre for Mental Health where he undertook a variety of work including the development of changing roles for consultants, support for medical managers and clinical leadership of the Mental Health Collaborative. He was Director of Policy and Knowledge Management for the NHS Clinical Governance Support Team from 2003 until April 2004 and since then has been Deputy National Director for Mental Health (England). He continues in part-time clinical practice.

The Government’s Health and Criminal Justice programme is based on the Bradley Report, prepared by Lord Bradley, The University of Manchester’s Special Adviser on Government and Political Relations.

For further information contact:

Aeron Haworth
Media Relations
Faculty of Medical and Human Sciences
The University of Manchester

Tel: 0161 275 8383
Mob: 07717 881563
Email: aeron.haworth@manchester.ac.uk