Forensic Psychiatry Specialty Programme

There are five single forensic specialty trainee posts across the ST4 to ST6 years. We also offer a Forensic / CAMHS dual training post once every five years. On calls are completed within the General Adult Psychiatry rota. The posts are all within Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust. Currently, the rotation is based solely in Health Education Thames Valley Region with posts in Oxford and Milton Keynes.

There are opportunities to train in male medium and low secure wards, a pre-discharge unit, an enhanced low secure female ward and a medium secure learning disability ward. Gatekeeping assessments for admission to secure hospital are undertaken for patients detained in prison and other secure hospitals.

The scheme offers diverse experience in the assessment and management of outpatients, including the provision of psychological treatment with the Pathfinder Service for Personality Disordered Offenders. There are also opportunities to work with the Forensic Intellectual and Neurodevelopmental Disorder (FIND) Service. Trainees attend either HMP Bullingdon or HMP Huntercombe for prison psychiatric experience. Special Hospital placements are based at Broadmoor Hospital. Trainees will also undertake expert witness work, including giving testimony at Court and to Parole Boards under consultant supervision.

Trainees will liaise with MAPPA, alongside other multi-agency working including Criminal Justice Mental Health Panels across the Thames Valley. They can also sit on the MAPPA strategic management board. Trainees will gain experience in the use of semi-structured risk assessment tools, participate in Mental Health Review Tribunals and Hospital Managers Hearings, consult with the Ministry of Justice, and carry out Mental Health Act assessments

There is a Forensic Psychiatry Academic Programme on Wednesday afternoon during Oxford University Term time, with case presentations, journal clubs and external speakers. There are also regular visits to places of interest such as the Old Bailey, Supreme Court and Grendon Therapeutic Prison. The programme has close links with the Oxford University Department of Psychiatry, and Professor Seena Fazel can mentor trainees interested in research. We work with the University of Oxford medical school and provide regular placements to 5th year medical students. There are opportunities to fulfil formal tutoring roles with the medical school.

There are the usual opportunities to be involved in Clinical Governance, audit and medical leadership. The Thames Valley Forensic Mental Health Service is the lead provider for the Thames Valley and Wessex Provider Collaborative and there are opportunities to attend regional meetings. Trainees attend national and international conferences including the Forensic Faculty Conference, Forensic Trainees Conference and the Forensic Psychiatry Research Society.

All placements are 12 months in duration, starting on the first Wednesday in August. Psychiatric supervisors change every 12 months, with the Educational Supervisor remaining the same throughout training. Trainees starting their rotation in February also rotate in August.

Training Sites for Forensic Psychiatry

Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust (for Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire posts).

Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust

·     DME – Alastair Reid –
·     Training Programme Director – Robert Cornish –  

 Main hospital sites:

·     Oxford Clinic, Littlemore Mental Health Centre
·     Marlborough House, Milton Keynes
·     Woodlands Low Secure Unit

·     Whiteleaf Centre, Aylesbury

West London Mental Healthcare NHS Trust (for Broadmoor Hospital placement for six weeks only) and special interest opportunities.

·     Training Programme Director – Robert Cornish –  

What our trainees are saying about the programme?

“I am approaching the end of my training in Forensic Psychiatry and can recommend Oxford as a place to train. In addition to patient management there is a very strong emphasis on developing report writing skills and all trainees receive a high level of supervision and support for this. In addition to these core skills there is ample opportunity to become involved in research projects, teaching and management development. All trainees spend time working at Broadmoor and also in local prisons. The trust itself is friendly, forward looking and goes out of its way to support trainees.” Dr BH

“During my forensic training in Oxford I have been able to sample a wide range of clinical experience – from acute and rehabilitation medium and low security and community supervision, to prison in-reach, gatekeeping assessments and court experience. The relationship with the consultant body is close and supportive creating a helpful training environment”. Dr D