Characteristics of female patients admitted to an adolescent secure forensic psychiatric hospital




Simon Alastair Hill, Paul Brodrick, Ambre Doherty, Joanne Lolley, Freya Wallington & Oliver White

The Journal of Forensic Psychiatry & Psychology

July 2014




Bluebird House is the only mixed gender NHS secure forensic psychiatric hospital for adolescents in the South of England. It has admitted more than 30 female patients since the service opened in 2008. The admission criteria are that patients must be detained under the Mental Health Act and present evidence of being a risk of harm to others. This article describes the clinical characteristics of 30 consecutive female patients admitted to a highly specialised adolescent forensic inpatient service. Key results include a very high rate of incidents of risk behaviours exhibited by female patients within the unit but good clinical outcomes. The majority of patients had severe symptoms of mental disorder, especially emotional instability, self-harm behaviours and aggressive behaviours. Few had diagnoses of mental illness. Assessment findings from the Millon Adolescent Clinical Inventory and the Structured Assessment of Violence Risk are discussed, as are parallel with studies from other female secure services.







Human Services and Justice Coordinating Committee