Forensic Service

Location:  River House, Bethlem Royal Hospital
Mode: Inpatient
Average length of treatment: Assessment up to 4 months, treatment up to 24 months
Referrals are accepted from: Community mental health teams, psychiatric inpatient teams, prisons, high secure hospitals, Clinical commissioning groups

Key areas: Forensic, personality disorder, psychosis


We provide a comprehensive range of medium, low secure and specialist forensic services, in state of the art modern facilities. The services are delivered through a robust multidisciplinary approach, providing safe and effective care. Our innovative approach to forensic care has resulted in creative solutions, such as the use of GPS tracking devices to facilitate more therapeutic leave, reducing absconding rates and decreasing length of stay.

Our service works to ensure that both male and female offenders with mental health difficulties are assessed and treated effectively, in the least restrictive environment. We aim to manage the risk, reduce further offending and support recovery throughout the person’s stay.

We deliver our services in two tiers. Tier one delivers care to new service users and those requiring high levels of nursing care, including those transferred from prison. Tier two provides medium and low secure care with a strong emphasis on recovery, social inclusion and occupational therapy, with service users progressing to minimal levels of security compatible with their risk.

We offer a female only medium secure service, which is expanding to offer secure services to women with challenging and complex needs from a variety of backgrounds such as PICU and prison.

In addition to mental illness and personality disorder, we work with service users with mild learning disabilities where the learning disability is not their only diagnosis.

Psychological interventions

We offer a range of interventions for offending behaviour, designed to allow participants to gain insight into their offending as well as the internal and situational risks that might trigger re-offending.

Our treatments are designed in line with the NICE guidelines for all the relevant psychological therapies. Service user feedback is an important part of our treatment evaluation and other outcomes measures are routinely collected. We offer single sex therapeutic opportunities.


Case study - Amanda

Amanda’s story

If someone said the slightest thing I’d fly off the handle. I could never see if they were joking or not…I did wrong though – something bad happened – and I apologise for that because she got injured and I never meant for that…

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