Why choose Forensic Psychiatry?
Forensic psychiatrists specialise in working with mentally disordered people who are a risk to the public. It is a uniquely challenging and stimulating discipline, offering opportunities to work with some of the most disadvantaged and severely unwell individuals in Psychiatry.
As a trainee what can I expect from my training programme?
The higher training programme in Forensic Psychiatry has a 100% success rate for trainees achieving an Outcome 6 / CCT on schedule. The programme also offers an unrivalled breadth of experience: in addition to the 2 regional in-patient services, there are opportunities for experience across the full range of prisons, including male high secure and DSPD and regional Category B and C prisons, and a female prison, which also houses the national female DSPD service. Other opportunities include community forensic services, including for personality disordered offenders, court liaison work and training in the assessment and management of sex offenders. Experience of working a high security setting is generally arranged through a block attachment in the third year at Rampton secure hospital. There are also opportunities to gain experience in specialist Forensic Adolescent, Autism and Learning Disability Services.
Higher trainees undertaking a 3 year rotation in Forensic Psychiatry typically spend time in regional secure units in both Newcastle and Middlesbrough.
The service in Newcastle is located at St Nicholas Hospital, Gosforth. It is a modern purpose built in-patient facility comprising 41 medium and 10 low secure in-patient beds. The service includes a medium secure ward specialising in assessing and treating personality disordered offenders. It is part of the Northumberland Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust and has strong links with both the University of Newcastle, and the University of Northumbria at Newcastle. One of the consultant trainers occupies the Chair in Forensic Psychiatry, and is therefore part of an active University Department of Psychiatry which has a major commitment to research.
The service in Middlesbrough is provided by Tees Esk & Wear Valleys NHS Foundation Trust, a large Specialist Mental Health Trust serving an area from Durham to Scarborough. Again, the secure service at Roseberry Park Hospital occupies new purpose built facilities – however, it also has an historical pedigree, as its predecessor the Hutton Centre was the first regional secure unit to open in the country. The current secure in-patient service provides low and medium secure forensic and forensic learning disability services to men and women.
What our trainees say:
As a Forensic Psychiatrist I am fascinated by the interface between clinical and legal work and how this translates into well researched, feasible and compassionate plans for care and public protection. Psychiatry begins with an exercise in establishing a rapport with people who are having the most unusual experiences possible. To be able to empathise with them while attempting to gain an understanding of their biological, psychological and social function, for me, is a great vocation.
A good psychiatrist is a powerful force for good and you will be confronted with fascinating people for the rest of your life. Our psychiatric trainers are national experts in training and assessment which will stand you in good stead when applying for consultant jobs.
Current vacancy information (links to HEE website recruitment page)
To find out more about our region and Trusts please visit the Find Your Place website.