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The use of trial leave for restricted special hospital patients

Mohan, D., Jamieson, E. and Taylor, Pamela Jane 2001. The use of trial leave for restricted special hospital patients. Criminal Behaviour and Mental Health 11 (1) , pp. 55-62. 10.1002/cbm.369

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Abstract

INTRODUCTION: For England and Wales, Section 17 of the Mental Health Act 1983 allows for compulsorily detained patients to have trial leave (TL) between hospitals or from hospital to community to allow a period of testing readiness for a change in residency and/or legal status. The aim of this study was to document the use of TL for the largest sub-group of such patients within two discharge cohorts from one high security hospital and to test for correlates. METHOD: Data were collected from the special hospitals' case register for two Broadmoor Hospital discharge cohorts, 1984 and 1990-94, of offender patients with hospital orders under Home Office restrictions on discharge (Section 37/41). RESULTS: In 1984, only two of the 29 people leaving special hospital did so under trial leave arrangements, but by 1990 to 1994, 71% of restricted hospital order departures were under trial leave (92/130), a significant change in practice. Focusing on only the later cohort, women were disproportionately more likely to leave in this way. Trial leave was used more for patients with an index offence of homicide, similarly for violent offences but less so for sex offences. Nature of disorder did not have any bearing on the use of trial leave. Use of trial leave did not significantly shorten length of stay within the special hospital. CONCLUSION: Trial leave has become the most usual route out of special hospital, and is the departure route used almost exclusively for women patients, yet there appears to be no obvious advantage for the patient in shortening length of stay in high security. However, there is no way of knowing how long patients would have stayed had the option of trial leave not been available to them. Furthermore, no advantage for the public was found in the preferential use of TL for discharges to the community.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Medicine
MRC Centre for Neuropsychiatric Genetics and Genomics (CNGG)
Subjects: R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC0321 Neuroscience. Biological psychiatry. Neuropsychiatry
Publisher: Wiley
ISSN: 0957-9664
Last Modified: 04 Jun 2017 08:36
URI: http://orca.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/80948

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