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Training for plurality ‐ developing modern multi‐professional forensic practice

Barrie Green (Humber Centre for Forensic Psychiatry, University of Hull)
Simon Wood (Humber Centre for Forensic Psychiatry, Hull)

The Journal of Mental Health Training, Education and Practice

ISSN: 1755-6228

Article publication date: 1 June 2007



In contemporary forensic mental health and learning disability services effective care and risk management, which is safe for individuals and the public, can only be delivered by drawing upon differing perspectives and interventions. In practice uni‐disciplinary training abounds, but the authors found a lack of formal training inherently constructed to be multidisciplinary. Therefore, a course was developed, in conjunction with a university partner, to meet this need. This modular course is flexible in nature, but is normally delivered over one semester leading to certification. In addition, there is the option of either essay or portfolio submission providing access to credits toward other academic awards. This programme of study, ‘Professional Practice in Secure Environments’ was recently cited as an example of good practice in From Values to Action, the CNO review of mental health nursing (NIMHE, 2006). Modules begin from a foundation of theory and relate it intimately to practice; students develop an understanding of multidisciplinary working by both training together and training in each others' conceptual frameworks. Participants to date include those from health, criminal justice, and social care arenas, and those with no previous higher study have submitted essays. Evaluations are positive and are used to refine delivery and content. The authors conclude that the course demystifies practice and academia, and provides access to both. This is an integral part of the training strategy, which is directed to meeting current and future service needs.Current and future developments and expansion of forensic mental health provision into new types of service will be less effective without a move away from traditional educational approaches. Services to meet the specific needs of groups such as secure long‐stay and personality disorders cannot be sustained effectively without a parallel development of new types of training.The strategic thinking behind this course, practical obstacles encountered, and solutions developed are described in this paper.



Green, B. and Wood, S. (2007), "Training for plurality ‐ developing modern multi‐professional forensic practice", The Journal of Mental Health Training, Education and Practice, Vol. 2 No. 1, pp. 23-27.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2007, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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