The National Forensic Mental Health R&D Programme was established in April 1999. It has built on the work of the R&D Programme set up as part of the High Security Psychiatric Services Commissioning Board, which was first established in September 1996. The Programme funds research which supports the provision of mental health services for people with mental disorders who are offenders or at risk of offending. Services are provided in secure and community NHS and criminal justice settings. The patients, whether in prisons or NHS services include difficult, dangerous and/or extremely vulnerable people whose behaviours present a risk to themselves as well as others. They can be difficult to engage in assessment, treatment and research. Staff must meet the therapeutic needs of patients whilst addressing legal, security and public safety issues. Carrying out research in forensic mental health is therefore particularly challenging.
The FMH R&D Programme has aimed to develop a critical mass of people at different stages of an academic career through its fellowship and primary research programmes. It is hoped that the support of researchers on a national basis will provide a foundation on which to build future research capacity and capability in this area.
Professor Clair Chilvers is the Programme Director and the Programme's Advisory Committee is chaired by Professor Keith Soothill.
Membership of FMH R&D Programme's Advisory Committee.
Advisory Committee Terms of Reference and Standing Orders
Forensic Learning Disabilities R&D Steering Group
Following the publication of the Reed Committee Report, a rapid nation wide expansion in services for mentally disordered offenders with learning disabilities has taken place. The development of a strategic framework, building on a stronger research infrastructure, and identification of resources to support a research culture in the service to provide evidence to guide service developments have, however, lagged behind considerably. Many professionals felt the time was ripe to influence the development of a more rigorous R&D strategy in the field. The Forensic Learning Disabilities R&D Steering Group was set up with a remit to develop the infrastructure within the forensic learning disabilities field and to pursue research and development activities in the field. Professor John Taylor chairs the Forensic Learning Disabilities Steering Group.
Membership of the Forensic Learning Disabilities
R&D Steering Group.