Nationally community services for patients with intellectual disability and forensic needs are limited, and research to guide service development for this patient group…
Nationally community services for patients with intellectual disability and forensic needs are limited, and research to guide service development for this patient group with highly complex needs is sparse. The purpose of this paper is to provide an overview of referrals to and case management by the multi-agency Fife Forensic Learning Disability Service (FFLDS), including demographic data, treatment, risk assessments and outcomes.
All referrals received between 2004 and 2014 were reviewed to identify key demographic factors and to clarify the outcome of the referrals. Risks levels and presence of factors related to ongoing risk management were identified. For those accepted, final outcomes were noted.
In total, 145 referrals were received by FFLDS between 1 January 2004 and 31 December 2014. Of these 117 were accepted for ongoing case management. In total 106 patients were discharged from FFLDS over the review period, with the vast majority remaining in community settings. Patients were overwhelmingly male, with an age range of 16-79 (mean age of 30). Approximately half of referrals were from criminal justice agencies, and sexual and violent offences predominated. Alcohol and/or illicit substance use was problematic in 49 per cent of patients.
FFLDS needs to consider building links with Drug and Alcohol Services, for assistance in developing expertise in managing problematic alcohol and/or illicit substance use. Links with professionals working with female offenders may increase the rate of referral of female patients.
Policy and legal frameworks emphasise the need to manage people with learning disabilities and forensic needs in the least restrictive environment possible. This paper provides information on a cohort of forensic patients over a ten-year period, including characteristics and outcomes, to inform the evaluation of these frameworks and the planning of both community and in-patient services for this patient group.