Who is our service for?
The Forensic Community Team is a Black Country wide service serving all four CCG localities.
The team aims to provide a flexible, proactive, co-ordinated and integrated service for people over 18 years of age who have a diagnosed learning disability, who are either subject to the criminal justice system, or at significant risk of becoming so, are unable to access to main stream services and/or require input from a specialist forensic team.
The forensic community team serves a sub-set of the learning disability population i.e. those with forensic needs which cannot be met by existing local mental health, forensic or learning disability/autism services; including those who may pose the most significant risk to others or who demonstrate offending behaviours.
How do we help?
In summary the service:
- Provides timely and accessible intervention to clients with active and ongoing forensic and psychiatric, psycho-social, behavioural or pharmacological needs, and consultation to the people who support them,
- Promotes the qualities and values of the ‘Good Lives’ model.
- Enables the highest level of independence possible, in the least restrictive way.
- Prevents and avoids unnecessary hospitalisation.
- Facilitates timely discharge from hospital inpatient forensic care.
- Signposts and navigates assessment of need for family carers to help support them with the demands of caring and involvement with the criminal justice system
The service aims to:
- Enable fair access to the criminal justice system.
- Prevent behaviour leading to contact with the criminal justice system.
- Reduce numbers of people needing to access treatment in a hospital.
- Reduce breakdowns in support.
- Increase treatment options in the community.
- Prevent risk of harm to self and others.
- Enable access to treatment in the community.
- Conform to the least restrictive practice.
- Prevent incidents of self-harm and suicide
- Increase confidence and skills of families and other sources of support in supporting the individual.
This is achieved through the following objectives:
- To provide a stepped-care comprehensive and integrated service.
- To support patients to meet the requirements of criminal justice community sentences/restrictions.
- To assess, formulate and update historic, current and future risks and to support the client to maximise their potential for an offence free lifestyle.
- To support understanding of how decisions the individual is making can impact upon their risk profile and consider how these dynamic factors impact on the risk profile and management options.
- To support clients (and their carers and providers) to manage risks effectively.
- To maintain effective working relationships with case managers to maintain effective communication around risk profile and treatment outcomes.
- To identify offending behaviours and offences and support clients to attend relevant services, where available
- To provide interventions to support individuals to remain in the community where possible.
- To support individuals to achieve and maintain good mental well-being.
- To identify needs around drug and alcohol issues and support clients to attend treatment at addiction services when they wish.
- To support effective, safe discharge from hospital settings into the community.
- To support transfer of care, from out of area placements, to the Black Country team localities.
- To offer opportunities within and access to the wider local community/mainstream services where this safe and relevant to do so.
- To support, advise and consult the Community Learning Disability Team/Intensive Support team to work with individuals who are displaying risky behaviours, which haven’t yet met the threshold for forensic services.
The team includes Community Learning Disability Forensic Nurses, Consultant Psychiatrist, Occupational Therapy, Psychology, Speech and Language Therapy, Specialist Behaviour Support Therapists and a range of support staff roles.
There is one referral system for our Tier 2 and Tier 3 teams (Community Learning Disability Teams, Intensive Support Team and Forensic Community Team) known as the ‘single point of referral’ (SPOR).
Most patients who may need Forensic Community Team support will already be known to our locality Community Learning Disability Teams.
If you believe someone requires Forensic Support please refer by telephoning the persons local Community Learning Disability Team on the relevant number listed below:
Sandwell Community Learning Disability Team - 0121 543 4063
Walsall Community Learning Disability Team - 01922 658 800
Wolverhampton Community Learning Disability Team - 01902 444447
Dudley Community Learning Disability Team - 01384 323047
SPOR sits within each multi-disciplinary community learning disability team located in the four geographical areas. SPOR meet once a week for clinical allocation. Referrals are checked and screened daily. Urgent referrals will be considered in line with the professional guidelines, the multi-disciplinary community team criteria and/or prioritisation screening (dependent on the nature of referral) and passed directly on to the Forensic Community Team where relevant. There is always a Forensic Community Team member present at SPOR meetings to ensure appropriate allocation to the Forensic Community team where indicated during SPOR.
When an urgent response is required, screening of the referral may also involve close liaison with the Mental Health crisis team, Forensic diversion and liaison team, and as required, the Police in order to identify the function(s) of any urgent response and agree the appropriate responder.
Where are we located?
The Forensic Community Team is located in The Cabin at Heath Lane Hospital.
Heath Lane Hospital
The team operates Monday to Friday (excluding bank holidays) within the core hours of 8am to 6pm based on the needs of the patient and/or service. Pre-planned support will be delivered in the evenings and/or at weekends and bank holidays where clinically appropriate and agreed as part of the patient care plan.