A postal questionnaire was sent to 100 Section 12 (2) approved consultant psychiatrists in the West Midlands to ascertain their perceptions of the role of general psychiatric services in the care of imprisoned patients with mental disorder previously cared for by generic services.
Of 59 respondents 90% believed they could contribute to the care of imprisoned patients with mental disorders. Ten per cent would delegate total responsibility to specialist forensic services. Lack of awareness of imprisonment of patients was a common problem.
Insufficient liaison between prison and general psychiatric services may impede the provision of psychiatric care in prison and prevent discharge planning in line with the Care Programme Approach and current Government guidelines.
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