To canvass the opinions of psychiatrists working in forensic settings on the recent proposals relating to dangerous people with severe personality disorder (DSPD). Psychiatrists from secure settings were invited to a series of meetings. A questionnaire was circulated and the discussions recorded.
Opinion remains divided over diagnosis, treatability and assessment of risk in personality disorders. The medicalisation of DSPD to allow indeterminate detention in unconvicted cases is unacceptable to the majority (75%). There is no consensus on the Government proposals relating to DSPD. Only a minority (20%) of psychiatrists would work in a new specialist service, which has significant implications for service development.
The involvement of psychiatrists in preventative detention solely for public protection requires greater discussion.
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