West Yorkshire Liaison and Diversion (L&D) Service has developed and established a comprehensive Learning Disability and Neurodiversity pathway.
The West Yorkshire L&D pathway for service users identified with a diagnosis or potential diagnosis of a learning disability, autism or other neurodiverse conditions was first introduced in March 2020 and it continues to be adapted and developed to meet the needs of our service users, many of whom have benefitted from being referred into it. We have made a significant number of referrals to the appropriate diagnostic services and without L&D’s intervention, they may have remained unsupported and undiagnosed.
Through initial screening, service users identified as possibly having a learning disability, Autism or other neurodiverse condition are referred directly to our Registered Learning Disability Nurse (RNLD) for further consideration. Where appropriate, our RNLD will complete a full assessment followed by referral into social care or Community Learning Disability Services. A referral check list has been introduced to support the referral process and to avoid duplication of information.
Utilising our links within the courts across West Yorkshire and comprehensive court reports we have also been successful in diverting a number of our neurodiverse service users away from imminent custodial sentences towards more rehabilitative community sentences and engagement with community health and social care professionals.
Our RNLD visits all West Yorkshire L&D teams on a regular basis to raise awareness and is a point of contact for all practitioners across the district to discuss / provide advice and guidance where necessary.
Part of the RNLD role is to raise awareness of learning disabilities, autism and other neurodiverse conditions to criminal justice professionals across West Yorkshire as well as raising awareness of the criminal justice system to service users and their carers, whether family, friends or heath and social care professionals.