Forensic Psychiatry Training in the Peninsula

Peninsula Postgraduate Medical Education has 3 National Training Numbers (NTN) in Forensic Psychiatry, with an additional one year ST posts available for other speciality trainees. We are also able to provide Forensic Psychotherapy higher training placements. The training scheme is based at Langdon Hospital, Dawlish which is the secure service provided by Devon Partnership Trust for Devon and Cornwall. The Dewnans Centre medium secure unit was re-provisioned in April 2013 and has 60 medium secure beds; there are two low secure units, Avon and Chichester House providing 29 beds and two open forensic units, Owen and Connolly House with 21 beds. As well as in-patient services there is a Prison Mental Health Service covering the local remand services at HMP Exeter and two sentenced prisons at HMP Dartmoor (Princetown) and Channings Wood (Newton Abbot); each prison is supported by a forensic led mental health team. In addition there are Community Forensic Teams in Devon and Cornwall and local low secure units in Plymouth and Bodmin making close links with the other Peninsula Mental Health Trusts, Cornwall Partnership Trust and Livewell Southwest. Devon Partnership Trust also hosts the South West Regional Secure Service New Care Model covering Devon, Cornwall, Somerset, Gloucestershire, Avon and Wiltshire.

The three year forensic training program offers a broad range of forensic experience with opportunities for specialist experience in Community Forensic, Forensic Intellectual Disability, Prison Psychiatry, Personality Disorder, Women’s Secure Services, CAMHs and Substance Misuse. High Secure Hospital experience is provided at Broadmoor Hospital with a flexible approach for completing the time required for Forensic competencies to be achieved. There is the opportunity to take part in supervised medico-legal assessment work throughout your training to ensure that all Forensic competencies are covered including Court appearances and liaison, working with probation, MAPPA and police liaison.

Generally the first year of your forensic training would be spent in a medium secure acute admission post, which would include experience of assessment and management of patients entering secure services. This includes the opportunity for you to conduct assessments under consultant supervision in prison, PICU, general adult and other specialist services and to gain confidence in use of Part 3 of the Mental Health Act.  Prior to your ARCP, you meet with your Educational Supervisor and plan your training for the next year according to your interests and educational needs. We can be flexible to support your requirements, for example tailoring years 2 and 3 to blocks of time to allow different training experiences from the approved posts on offer or matching special interests and specialist posts if you aim to focus on a sub-specialist career pathway. Your placements would be agreed each year with your Educational supervisor and TPD based on your learning needs, your personal preference, previous experience and availability of posts. Towards the end of the program for the last 6-9 months you would usually return to an in-patient post at Langdon Hospital to consolidate your preparation for consultant applications. During the third year of training, Royal College Approved Acting Up Consultant Posts (AUC) where trainees work as a consultant forensic psychiatrist in a supervised setting for three months are actively encouraged. This is a good opportunity for you to put into practice skills learnt, try out consultant posts and gain experience that can be valuable to draw on during your consultant interviews.

Please see the role description page for further information on rotational posts available for Forensic and Other Speciality Trainees. For further information on the Forensic Psychiatry Training scheme please contact the Training Program Director Dr Christine Brown.

Research and Special Interest sessions

Each training post has a weekly time-table which includes one session per week for special interest and one session per week for research. These sessions should be agreed with your Educational Supervisor and Training Programme Director. Special interest sessions can be taken as one half day weekly, whole days for a period of block time or alternating with research days or as placements of up to 14 day blocks in specialist services out of area. Research projects should be planned and we would support you if you wanted to complete HEE funded accredited taught higher training.

Teaching Experience

There are teaching opportunities with undergraduate medical students from The University of Exeter Medical School and Plymouth University (Peninsula School of Medicine) including developing, delivering and assessing short special study modules and taking part in Structured Clinical Assessments and Interviews. The local MRCPsych course, held weekly for core trainees, is also a good opportunity to gain teaching experience. There is a weekly multi-disciplinary teaching session at Langdon followed by the ST led academic program for doctors and speciality clinicians on Wednesday afternoons.

Psychotherapy Experience

We are fortunate to have two Forensic Psychotherapists working in the service, Dr Brian Darnley and Dr Paul Macallister, and include psychotherapy formulations and case discussions in the academic program. There is also the opportunity to gain experience with the Psychology team delivering group programs at Langdon, working with prison and clinical psychologists delivering offending behaviour interventions in the community and prison and individual Cognitive Analytic Therapy with in-patients. Group Analysis South West run a foundation year course locally and you can be supported to complete this or other psychotherapy training as appropriate to your training needs.

Quality Improvement Experience

During your training you will be expected to undertake a Quality Improvement project, including audits. The Director of Quality Improvement for Devon Partnership Trust and the National Clinical Director of the Mental Health Safety Improvement Programme (NHSI) Dr Helen Smith is also a Forensic Psychiatrist working at Langdon Hospital and can provide opportunities and Special Interest sessions in Quality Improvement.

Leadership and Management Experience

You will be encouraged to get involved in an appropriate management project during your training. This could include special interest sessions working alongside the South West Regional New Models of Care delivery team based at Langdon and supervised by one of the Directors, Dr Jason Fee who is also a Forensic Psychiatrist working at Langdon Hospital; or the opportunity to get involved with Regional Data Analysis or Service Commissioning projects. If you wanted to focus on developing Leadership skill programmes such as the NHS Edward Jenner Leadership programme are available.

Specialist Posts for General and Learning Disability Psychiatry trainees

In addition to the three NTNs for Forensic Psychiatry training, we also offer one year specialist training posts for General and Learning Disability Psychiatry Trainees. The general post can be focused on in-patient acute care, in-patient rehabilitation, community or prison (equivalent to community) posts or combinations of these posts over the year. This would provide valuable experience for PICU, rehabilitation and liaison psychiatry consultant posts as well as general adult in-patient and community consultant posts. The Learning Disability post offers specialist experience with the Forensic Intellectual Disability Community Team led by Dr John Parker.

Trainees who are considering coming to the Peninsula to undertake forensic training would be welcome to contact Dr Brown to discuss their specific training needs. 

Please see the School Structure page for Head of School, Training Programme Director, College Tutor and School Management contact details.