The Specialist Community Forensic Team is a new team which aims to reduce the length of stay for people in secure services, by helping people move back into the community, is now up and running.
It is a community-based service providing treatment, support and coaching to people over 18 who have been discharged from secure inpatient units in Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire. Commissioned by NHS England and NHS Improvement, the team aims to support people leaving secure care who may find it difficult to make the transition back into the community.
Where and who
Based at Fromeside in Bristol, the new Forensic Team is multi-disciplinary, and includes consultant psychiatrists, a psychologist, mental health nurses, occupational therapists, social workers, employment specialists, an involvement coordinator, peer support workers and administrators.
The team will support people by:
- Helping them to make a positive transition back into life in the community. We work with inpatient services and begin building relationships with people before discharge
- Advising and working collaboratively with other mental health professionals, Community Mental Health Teams (CMHTs), GPs and social care staff to support people to stay in the community and not be readmitted into secure care
- Giving expert advice to, and working with, other criminal justice system agencies to support people leaving secure services. This is usually via a Multi-Agency Public Protection Arrangement (MAPPA)
- Working with people in an empathetic but evidence-based way to understand their experiences of the service, while also supporting people to make the most of training and education opportunities
- Understanding current inequalities, addressing them and embedding a culture of diversity and inclusion.
During the transition period from secure service back into the community, the Forensic Team will be responsible for care coordination, supervision and support. This will be done collaboratively with people who use the service, to ensure their ideas and experiences are heard and shared and are used to help shape the service. This spirit of coproduction will run through the service and will ensure the service works collaboratively with service users, their families, friends and carers at every opportunity.
Our role in the team is to help people who use the service integrate into the community and pursue job and educational opportunities. Together with other third sector housing providers, we will also help source housing solutions for people discharged from the service.
Sophie Bailie, Senior Operations Manager, said:
“We’re delighted to be working in this new service with AWP with coproduction at its heart.
We’re keen to build strong relationships between staff and the people using the service and to do this in a way which builds a culture of diversity and inclusion. Our aim is to support people to move on in their lives in the most positive way possible."