Independent custody visitors

Healthcare in custody

Start date: 01 December 2017
End date: 30 April 2018
  • The Metropolitan Police centralised its custody facilities and established Met Detention in January 2015. 
  • The new model for healthcare in custody includes 24/7 cover from Custody Nurse Practitioners (CNPs) at the 12 busiest suites, with the remainder covered by Forensic Medical Examiners (FMEs). As of October 2017, the Metropolitan Police had still not recruited the full complement of staff needed for its enhanced model.
  • In April 2017, the Guardian reported that ambulance callouts to London police custody had “more than doubled” over four years.
  • The Police and Crime Plan commits to ‘review the effectiveness of custody healthcare arrangements.’

Our investigation

Back in 2014, the Police and Crime Committee found that the Metropolitan Police were struggling to provide adequate medical staffing to assess and treat detainees in their custody suites. Four years on, the Committee is looking at what the Metropolitan Police and MOPAC have done since to make sure that people in police custody are safe and get effective healthcare. 

In December 2017, the Committee spoke with frontline professionals working in custody suites to understand more about the system.

On March 7 2018 the Committee held a public meeting where representatives from the Metropolitan Police, MOPAC, and the NHS, as well as custody professionals, were asked about the findings of the investigation so far. Topics for discussion included: 

  • How the new custody model is working
  • The recruitment and retention of professionals
  • The care that children and vulnerable adults get in custody
  • Ambulance attendances at custody suites 
  • How the Metropolitan Police and MOPAC reduce risk in custody and learn from when incidents do take place

Get involved

If you have any views on this issue please email [email protected]

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