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The main remit of the Allied Health Professionals (AHP) Lead group is to promote collaborative working at a National level among all AHPs in forensic mental health. The focus of the group is the key contribution of AHPs in forensic settings, including responding to current national drivers such as The Mental Health Strategy (2017 -2027), the outcomes of the Independent Review into the Delivery of Forensic Mental Health Services (Feb, 2021) and the Scottish Mental Health Law Review.


The group first met in July 2010 and has wide support from the Allied Health Professions (AHP) community with representation from every NHS Board area within forensic services, independent provider(s) and all five AHP professions (SLT OT, Physio, Dietetics, Art). The group has developed over time and now includes representation from all levels of security including high, medium, low and community services.


The group is currently Chaired by Julie Shaw (Lead Occupational Therapist), supported by Deputy Chair, Christine Breslin (Team Lead Occupational Therapist).


The group meet on a quarterly basis, either in-person or supported through use of Microsoft Teams.


  • Leads for Allied Health Professions within forensic mental health services across all 14 regional boards, specialist boards (TSH). We also currently host prison representatives.
  • From the membership, there will be a named representative attending the AHP Mental Health Strategic Leads group.
  • In addition, The State Hospital Lead AHP, will be the group’s link to the National AHP Directors group.
  • Representation is for regional board area and professional AHP disciplines.


As a group, each year we agree a workplan to focus our activities and ensure we are working collaboratively towards improving AHP input within forensic mental health services.


Key priorities from our 2022 – 2023 workplan include:
  • Development of the first Annual Forensic AHP Conference (June 2022)
  • Finalise Disclosure Guidance
  • Promote the National delivery of ESI/Participate programmes
  • Support the Forensic Network Continuous Quality Improvement Framework (CQIF) Reviews across 2022-2025
  • Share knowledge of funding streams and application processes
  • Embed actions for AHPs from the Independent Review into the Delivery of Forensic Mental Health Services (2021)

How to find out more about us:

Should you wish to find out more about the work of the group, or find out who the representative for your service is, please contact the Forensic Network office at