There is substantial evidence that young people moving from child and adolescent mental health services to adult services are more likely to experience poor transitions. However, little is known about the care pathways of young people transitioning from forensic services. This retrospective case note review sought to examine the clinical characteristics, transition pathways and psychosocial indicators of transition outcomes amongst young people in forensic medium secure services discharged to adult services.
The electronic records of 32 young people, who transitioned from six adolescent medium secure units in England to adult services between May 2015 and June 2016, were examined.
Approximately 65% of young people were between 18 and 19 years at the time of transition and the average waiting time from referral to discharge was six months. A total of 63% young people transitioned to community placements and adult medium secure services. Four pathways describing the journey into and out of adolescent medium secure services were identified in a subsample of 12 young people. A total of 25% young people with neurodevelopmental problems moved to specialist services.
The results suggest that diagnosis, severity of offence and clinical background are associated with transition pathway. Promoting a person-centred approach and gradual independence of the young person may improve current practice.
These results inform existing policy and clinical practice in an effort to reform transition guidelines around young people’s needs during transition times. Further studies in adolescent forensic services are needed to understand complex neurodevelopmental problems and comorbidities.
This study was supported by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Collaborations for Leadership in Applied Health Research (CLAHRC) West Midlands. SPS is part funded by NIHR Applied Research Collaboration (ARC) West Midlands. The views expressed are those of the author (s) and not necessarily those of the NIHR or the Department of Health and Social Care.
Livanou, M.I., Lane, R., D'Souza, S. and Singh, S.P. (2020), "A retrospective case note review of young people in transition from adolescent medium secure units to adult services", The Journal of Forensic Practice, Vol. 22 No. 3, pp. 161-172. https://doi.org/10.1108/JFP-02-2020-0007
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