Medium secure services

Medium secure hospitals

Medium secure services are for people who present a significant risk of causing harm to others. As with low secure services, they are provided by a range of NHS and independent sector organizations. Most patients will have a history of offending, and some will have been transferred from prison to receive inpatient treatment. Typically, patients will remain in treatment between 2 and 5 years. Some medium secure hospitals provide separate services for patients with a primary diagnosis of personality disorder. Where specific treatments are required for individual patients (e.g. arson or sexual offending programmes) and the regional Secure Unit (the NHS medium secure hospital for the local area) does not provide these, out-of-area placements may need to be purchased. Some units also provide specialist services for particular groups of patients, including those with pervasive developmental disorders, acquired brain injury units, and adolescent services.

Women’s enhanced medium security

in 2007, following a review of the three high secure hospitals in England and Wales by the Department of health, three new units were set up to cater for the small number of women who had committed severe offences or who could not be managed in existing medium secure units but did not require high secure care. These units are known as Women’s enhanced Medium Secure Services (WEMSS), which, in total, provide 46 beds in the UK. The level of physical security provided at WEMSS is equivalent to that within standard medium secure services, whilst there is an enhanced level of relational and procedural security.

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