Declaration of interest None.
Aims and method To evaluate differences between male patients in secure psychiatric settings in the UK based on whether they are detained under civil or forensic sections of the Mental Health Act 1983. A cohort of patients discharged from a secure psychiatric hospital were evaluated for length of stay and frequency of risk-related incidents.
Results Overall, 84 patients were included in the study: 52 in the forensic group and 32 in the civil group. Civil patients had more frequent incidents of aggression, sex offending, fire-setting and vulnerability, whereas forensic patients had more frequent episodes of self-harm.
Clinical implications Secure hospitals should ensure treatment programmes are tailored to each patient's needs. Civil patients require greater emphasis on treatment of their mental illness, whereas forensic patients have additional offence-related treatment needs. Regular liaison between forensic and general adult services is essential to help ensure patients can return to appropriate settings at the earliest opportunity in their recovery.
- © 2016 The Authors
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