Referrals to a forensic service in the psychiatry of learning disability

Regi Alexander (Leicester Frith Hospital, Leicester)
Jack Piachaud (Eric Shepherd Unit, Hertfordshire)
Lola Odebiyi (Harrow Learning Disability Team, Middlesex)
Satheesh Gangadharan (Leicester Frith Hospital, Leicester)

The British Journal of Forensic Practice

ISSN: 1463-6646

Publication date: 1 May 2002


This survey describes the socio‐demographic, clinical and forensic variables of all patients referred to a medium secure unit in the psychiatry of learning disability. Of the sample, 67.5% were referred following an index offence and 76.6% had at least one previous conviction. Just over half (50.6%) came from either prisons, special hospitals or medium secure units and the remainder from mental health/learning disability hospitals or community resources. The majority (91.7%) had prior contact with a mental health or learning disability team. Most (81.5%) had a mild or ‘borderline’ learning disability, 46.8% had either a psychosis or major mood disorder, 58.4% had personality disorders and 56.6% had a history of illicit substance abuse. Of the 79 referrals 29.1% were accepted for admission. Arson as an index offence and a previous conviction for arson were significantly associated with being accepted for admission.


Alexander, R., Piachaud, J., Odebiyi, L. and Gangadharan, S. (2002), "Referrals to a forensic service in the psychiatry of learning disability", The British Journal of Forensic Practice, Vol. 4 No. 2, pp. 29-33.

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Copyright © 2002, MCB UP Limited

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