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Exploring service users’ experience of community meetings in a high secure service

Danielle Mayes (Department of Clinical Psychology, University of Nottingham, Nottingham, UK)
Sarah Victoria Ramsden (Department of Clinical Psychology, University of Lincoln, Lincoln, UK)
Louise Braham (Mental Health and National Learning Disability Directorate, Rampton Hospital, Retford, UK)
Zoe Whitaker (St Andrew’s Healthcare Nottingham, Mansfield, UK)
Mark Norburn (Rampton Hospital, Retford, UK)

Mental Health Review Journal

ISSN: 1361-9322

Article publication date: 12 September 2016




The purpose of this paper is to explore service users’ experience of community meetings (CMs) within a high secure setting.


A qualitative design was employed in which focus groups were used to capture service users’ experience of CMs. In all, 12 focus groups comprising a total of 27 participants were carried out using a semi-structured interview schedule. Data were analysed using thematic and saliency analysis, identifying themes which were pertinent to the research aims.


Positive experiences reported by service users included a safe space to explore ward issues and develop skills, with some viewing the meeting as a therapeutic forum in which to facilitate personal growth.

Research limitations/implications

There were a wide range of patient presentations and views. Furthermore, only 20 per cent of the patient population were included within this study.

Practical implications

A number of recommendations have been identified that can have positive implications for patients (quality of life and recovery), staff (resolving conflicts and problem-solving) and the overall therapeutic milieu of the ward.


There are no reviews looking at CMs within the last decade. This paper brings the understanding up to date to allow the development of this potentially positive tool.



Mayes, D., Ramsden, S.V., Braham, L., Whitaker, Z. and Norburn, M. (2016), "Exploring service users’ experience of community meetings in a high secure service", Mental Health Review Journal, Vol. 21 No. 3, pp. 200-212.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2016, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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