Cardiff University | Prifysgol Caerdydd ORCA
Online Research @ Cardiff 
WelshClear Cookie - decide language by browser settings

Mental Health Act transfers from prison to psychiatric hospital over a six-year period in a region of England

Woods, Laura, Craster, Laura and Forrester, Andrew 2020. Mental Health Act transfers from prison to psychiatric hospital over a six-year period in a region of England. Journal of Criminal Psychology 10 (3) , pp. 219-231. 10.1108/JCP-03-2020-0013

Full text not available from this repository.

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.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Medicine
Publisher: Emerald
ISSN: 2009-3829
Last Modified: 26 Aug 2021 22:43
URI: http://orca.cardiff.ac.uk/id/eprint/139746

Actions (repository staff only)

Edit Item Edit Item