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Forensic psychiatry higher training


Forensic psychiatry is a specialty of medicine, based on detailed knowledge of relevant law, criminal and civil justice systems, mental health systems and the relationship between mental disorder, antisocial behaviour and offending.

This is a three-year training programme in forensic psychiatry, completion of which will allow the successful trainee to achieve a Certificate of Completion of Training (CCT) in Forensic Psychiatry.

Training in Wales

The training programme is based at the Caswell Clinic, Bridgend, a sixty-bedded Medium Secure Unit serving the south Wales area. The clinic provides an inpatient service for mentally disordered offenders, as well as providing consultation and advice to other related agencies. The service comprises five wards, including one female-only ward.

Trainees on the scheme are mainly based at Caswell Clinic, and will ordinarily rotate through two one-year placements, and two six-month placements (one of the six-month placements is in a low-secure setting). All placements are under the supervision of a different Consultant Forensic Psychiatrist. In addition, trainees will obtain high secure training via six week placement, The on-call commitment is usually one in ten and non-residential.

Trainees will be expected to undertake clinics at the local prisons, and opportunities exist for specialist interest placements within a variety of other settings in the south Wales area. The training scheme enjoys close academic links with Cardiff University which offers research opportunities. There also exist opportunities for undertaking post-graduate degrees during the period of Higher Specialist Training, whether in Mental Health Law, Medical Education, Criminology or other related areas.

Trainees will be expected to carry out risk assessments for secondary mental health care services, as well as assessments in police custody, and to provide reports for Managers Hearings and Mental Health Review Tribunals. There are also opportunities to gain experience in providing court reports under supervision, and associated medico-legal training is provided. Trainees are expected to attend the regular Monday Academic Programme, which usually involves case presentations, journal clubs and peer-review case conferences, in addition to group-based (‘Balint’) supervision sessions. Trainees also participate in the teaching of junior medical staff, as well as other disciplines, to enhance their teaching skills.