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Article
Publication date: 8 December 2010

Evan Yacoub

Low security is a poorly understood concept, particularly in relation to people with an intellectual disability. Characteristics of patients offered an admission to low

Abstract

Low security is a poorly understood concept, particularly in relation to people with an intellectual disability. Characteristics of patients offered an admission to low secure intellectual disability settings have not been robustly demonstrated. The same applies to staff perceptions of low security. The aims of the study were to ascertain the characteristics of patients referred to a low secure intellectual disability unit which lead to an offer of admission, identify the views of staff working on the unit on the concept of low security, and use both sets of data to discuss low secure provision for people with intellectual disability. A case‐controlled study was carried out for 33 patients referred to the unit over 42 months. The characteristics of 18 patients offered an admission were compared with those of 15 patients not offered an admission, and five of the staff working on the unit were interviewed about the concept of low security. Patients offered an admission were more able than those not offered an admission, posed more risks and were more complex diagnostically. Staff working on the unit agreed that their patients were complex, but felt that they were appropriately placed overall. The challenges of low secure provision were discussed by staff. Patients sampled were complex and heterogeneous, but not necessarily ‘forensic’. Their complexity requires sophisticated care plans and management strategies. This study has implications for referrers, staff, patients and managers, and highlights areas for future research.

Details

Advances in Mental Health and Intellectual Disabilities, vol. 4 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2044-1282

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 3 August 2012

Jo Nadkarni, David J. Blakelock, Alok Jha, Paul Tiffin and Faye Sullivan

The first NHS forensic low secure unit for adolescents, the Westwood centre, opened in 2004. This paper seeks to focus on service utilisation and initial outcomes for the…

170

Abstract

Purpose

The first NHS forensic low secure unit for adolescents, the Westwood centre, opened in 2004. This paper seeks to focus on service utilisation and initial outcomes for the young people admitted in the first 45 months compared with young people accessing a neighbouring open adolescent unit.

Design/methodology/approach

In order to understand service utilisation and initial outcomes, the clinical profiles of young people admitted in the first 45 months were evaluated. This included demographics, locality, admission status, length of stay, medication use, presenting problem, diagnosis, previous and discharge destination. The profiles of young people accessing the low secure unit were then compared with young people accessing a neighbouring open adolescent unit. Clinical profiles were ascertained from available healthcare records and service data. These were inspected and analysed using descriptive statistics.

Findings

Thirty (54 per cent) of the 56 Westwood young people were male, the mean age at admission was 16.3 years and mean length of stay was 202 days. Twenty‐five (44 per cent) young people had a discharge diagnosis related to psychosis, the remainder having primary problems relating to emotional and/or conduct problems. 26 (47 per cent) were discharged to another hospital setting and 20 (35 per cent) returned to their home of origin. Young people accessing the low secure unit were significantly older at admission and there was a trend for a higher proportion of females to be admitted to the open setting. In addition, the low secure unit had a greater proportion of young people with psychotic disorders and longer lengths of stay. Case examples illustrate a pilot of initial outcomes.

Research limitations/implications

There were time differences in comparison of low secure and open unit and retrospective use of health care records.

Practical implications

Clinical profiling is useful as a basis to consider clinical outcomes, pathways, utilization of a service, service/training needs and development. Comparisons between inpatient units provide further evidence to the areas above and help dispel myths that may otherwise guide decisions, e.g. about which diagnoses or gender affecting length of stay. Most young people progress positively from the low secure service onto open or community settings. Improving future outcomes for young people include such as through diversion from custody, length of admission, reduced symptoms/risks and planned progress to suitable community placements or home.

Originality/value

The paper provides a clinical profile of young people accessing a low secure setting in comparison to an open unit. This has relevance to other secure and inpatient adolescent units and is important in considering pathways and outcomes.

Details

The British Journal of Forensic Practice, vol. 14 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-6646

Keywords

Abstract

Details

Tizard Learning Disability Review, vol. 15 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1359-5474

Article
Publication date: 1 September 2006

Erica Mclnnis, William Sellwood and Clair Jones

This study reports a recovery‐themed cognitive behavioural educational group for clients suffering from chronic positive and negative symptoms of schizophrenia, on a low

Abstract

This study reports a recovery‐themed cognitive behavioural educational group for clients suffering from chronic positive and negative symptoms of schizophrenia, on a low secure inpatient unit. Nine participants completed baseline and post‐intervention measures of insight, self‐esteem and knowledge about schizophrenia. Additional post‐intervention measures included compliance with medication, feelings about schizophrenia, qualitative views and access to the community. Overall, the results were positive within the limits of this small‐scale study. Following the intervention, most participants reported that they were less frightened about psychosis, and felt more in control of their illness and more optimistic about their future. This study suggests that there may be clinical benefits of having CBT‐orientated educational groups in low secure settings with clients with longstanding co‐existing positive and negative symptoms of schizophrenia. Recovery style should be evaluated systematically in future studies.

Details

The British Journal of Forensic Practice, vol. 8 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-6646

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 30 June 2020

Laura Woods, Laura Craster and Andrew Forrester

There are high levels of psychiatric morbidity amongst people in prisons. In England and Wales, prisoners who present with the most acute mental health needs can be…

Abstract

Purpose

There are high levels of psychiatric morbidity amongst people in prisons. In England and Wales, prisoners who present with the most acute mental health needs can be transferred to hospital urgently under part III of the Mental Health Act 1983. This project reviewed all such transfers within one region of England, with an emphasis on differences across levels of security.

Design/methodology/approach

Over a six-year period (2010–2016) within one region of England, 930 psychiatric referrals were received from seven male prisons. From these referrals, 173 (18.5%) secure hospital transfers were required. Diagnostic and basic demographic information were analysed, along with hospital security categorisation (high secure, medium secure, low secure, psychiatric intensive care unit and other) and total time to transfer in days.

Findings

There were substantial delays to urgent hospital transfer across all levels of hospital security. Prisoners were transferred to the following units: medium security (n = 98, 56.9%); psychiatric intensive care units (PICUs) (n = 34, 19.7%); low secure conditions (n = 20, 11.6%); high secure conditions (n = 12, 6.9%); other (n = 9, 5.2%). Mean transfer times were as follows: high secure = 159.6 days; other = 68.8 days; medium secure = 58.6 days; low secure = 54.8 days; and psychiatric intensive care = 16.1 days.

Research limitations/implications

In keeping with the wider literature in this area, transfers of prisoners to hospital were very delayed across all levels of secure psychiatric hospital care. Mean transfer times were in breach of the national 14-day timescale, although transfers to PICUs were quicker than to other units. National work, including research and service pilots, is required to understand whether and how these transfer times might be improved.

Originality/value

This paper extends the available literature on the topic of transferring prisoners with mental illness who require compulsory treatment. There is a small but developing literature in this area, and this paper largely confirms that delays to hospital transfer remain a serious problem in England and Wales. National work, including research and service pilots, is required to understand whether and how these transfer times might be improved. This could include different referral and transfer models as a component of service-based and pathways research or combining referral pathways across units to improve their efficacy.

Details

Journal of Criminal Psychology, vol. 10 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2009-3829

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 24 January 2011

Regi Alexander, Avinash Hiremath, Verity Chester, Fatima Green, Ignatius Gunaratna and Sudeep Hoare

The aim of the project was to evaluate the short‐term treatment outcomes of patients treated in a medium secure service for people with intellectual disability. A total of…

Abstract

The aim of the project was to evaluate the short‐term treatment outcomes of patients treated in a medium secure service for people with intellectual disability. A total of 138 patients, 77 discharged and 61 current inpatients, treated over a six‐year period were included in the audit. Information on demographic and clinical variables was collected on a pre‐designed data collection tool and analysed using appropriate statistical methods. The median length of stay for the discharged group was 2.8 years. About 90% of this group were discharged to lower levels of security and about a third went directly to community placements. None of the clinical and forensic factors examined was significantly associated with length of stay for this group. There was a ‘difficult to discharge long‐stay’ group which had more patients with criminal sections, restriction orders, history of abuse, fire setting, personality disorders and substance misuse. However, when regression analysis was done, most of these factors were not predictive of the length of stay. Clinical diagnosis or offending behaviour categories are poor predictors of length of hospital stay, and there is a need to identify empirically derived patient clusters using a variety of clinical and forensic variables. Common datasets and multi‐centre audits are needed to drive this.

Details

Advances in Mental Health and Intellectual Disabilities, vol. 5 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2044-1282

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 13 July 2012

Marian Quinn, Cathy Thomas and Verity Chester

The aim of the present study is to explore the psychometric properties of the EssenCES measure (patient report) of social climate in a secure service for people with…

326

Abstract

Purpose

The aim of the present study is to explore the psychometric properties of the EssenCES measure (patient report) of social climate in a secure service for people with intellectual disabilities.

Design/methodology/approach

Patients (37 men, 14 women, Mean age=33.24 years, SD=11.29, age range: 18‐71 years) residing in a secure intellectual disabilities service completed the EssenCES as part of routine clinical practice.

Findings

Reliability analysis revealed acceptable reliability for all three subscales (α=0.76‐0.88). In order to consider one aspect of the construct validity of this measure, a predicted group difference regarding the impact of security level on ratings of social climate was investigated. Analysis revealed that social climate ratings were more positive on low secure wards than medium secure wards as measured by the combined EssenCES subscales F(3, 31)=4.71, p=0.008; Λ=0.69; η2=0.31, and the Experienced Safety subscale, F(1, 33)=7.41, p=0.01.

Research limitations/implications

Future research should consider the link between social climate and treatment outcome within forensic secure intellectual disability services.

Originality/value

Results provide preliminary evidence to suggest that the EssenCES subscales (patient report) are reliable in this previously unconsidered population. However the validity of the measure is still unclear and requires further investigation.

Details

Advances in Mental Health and Intellectual Disabilities, vol. 6 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2044-1282

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 8 December 2010

Ian Hall, Evan Yacoub and Babur Yusufi

Secure inpatient services for people with intellectual disability are provided in a piecemeal way, often without strategic commissioning. We describe how we conducted a…

Abstract

Secure inpatient services for people with intellectual disability are provided in a piecemeal way, often without strategic commissioning. We describe how we conducted a needs assessment that enabled us to develop a new service for men with intellectual disability who often had substantial additional mental health needs. Consulting with all stakeholders was essential, and we found the service user and family perspectives particularly helpful. We had to make special arguments for some aspects of the treatment programme. We found that foundation trusts that are able to develop services at financial risk, before contracts are signed, enabled development to take place at a faster pace. Good relationships with community teams have been essential, as has true integration with mainstream forensic services. Maintaining a relationship with commissioners was a particularly challenging aspect, perhaps because the development was provider‐led. Despite these challenges, many people with intellectual disability with very high needs are being supported much nearer to home.

Details

Advances in Mental Health and Intellectual Disabilities, vol. 4 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2044-1282

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 June 2008

Steven Jones, Fiona Lobban, Kate Evershed, Lee Taylor and Anja Wittkowski

A significant number of people with psychosis require inpatient admission under the Mental Health Act. Department of Health documents have highlighted the importance of…

Abstract

A significant number of people with psychosis require inpatient admission under the Mental Health Act. Department of Health documents have highlighted the importance of delivering effective care to individuals with psychosis treated in low secure conditions. Research into patient outcomes in these settings has so far been neglected. The aim of the research reported here was to assess outcomes for patients tested at three six‐monthly assessments during their residence at a new community low secure facility for people with psychosis and challenging behaviour. Although there were numerical reductions on many of the outcome measures over time, few were statistically significant. The main significant improvements were in Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale total and delusions scores over time. Initial evidence indicates that this type of care may have promise, but further research is needed to extend these findings.

Details

The British Journal of Forensic Practice, vol. 10 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-6646

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 June 2000

Phillip Vaughan

There is not only an absence of guidelines for the development of medium and low secure units but also confusion over the definitions of these types of provision.

Abstract

There is not only an absence of guidelines for the development of medium and low secure units but also confusion over the definitions of these types of provision.

Details

The British Journal of Forensic Practice, vol. 2 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-6646

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