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“We know about our risks, so we should be asked.” A tool to support service user involvement in the risk assessment process in forensic services for people with intellectual disabilities

Samantha Hall (Advanced Practitioner,based at Calderstones Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, Whalley, UK)
and
Helen Duperouzel (Governance Coordinator, based at Calderstones Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, Whalley, UK)

Journal of Learning Disabilities and Offending Behaviour

ISSN: 2042-0927

Article publication date: 15 July 2011

Abstract

Purpose

The Department of Health advocates the involvement of service users in the risk assessment and management process. Studies suggest that this is not routine practice and is dependent on individual professionals. The “Keeping me Safe and Well” screen was developed by Mersey Care NHS as part of a human rights healthcare project and this paper aims to analyse it.

Design/methodology/approach

The screen was piloted to adopt a more participative holistic approach to risk whilst working in partnership with service users. This took place in a 16‐bed, medium secure unit for people with a diagnosis of intellectual disabilities and personality disorder; five service users took part in the pilot. Personal records were audited to assess the level of involvement in the risk assessment process and individual and focus group interviews provided narrative on the use and usefulness of the tool.

Findings

All participating service users experienced an increased awareness and knowledge of the risk assessment process and human rights issues. The screen helped them focus on their own risk issues and the rights of others. Their views of personal risk matched those of the professionals, effectively validating existing assessment methods, promoting trust between service users and professionals, giving service users an opportunity to work collaboratively with professionals on individual risk management.

Originality/value

The screen added value to the risk assessment process by engaging service users in the risk process and supporting the adoption of a more participative, holistic approach to risk by maximising autonomy and empowerment and working in partnership with the service user.

Keywords

Citation

Hall, S. and Duperouzel, H. (2011), "“We know about our risks, so we should be asked.” A tool to support service user involvement in the risk assessment process in forensic services for people with intellectual disabilities", Journal of Learning Disabilities and Offending Behaviour, Vol. 2 No. 3, pp. 122-126. https://doi.org/10.1108/20420921111186598

Publisher

:

Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited