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The Forensic Network is committed to supporting family and friends of patients within Forensic Mental Health and Intellectual Disabilities services.

We have representatives from Support in Mind Scotland representing user and carers’ views on our Network Advisory Board and they have done since the Network was established in 2003.

Who are Forensic Mental Health Carers?

Forensic Mental Health Carers are people of any age who provide unpaid support for a relative or friend who is within forensic mental health services, including people in low, medium and high security hospitals throughout Scotland as well as in community settings with the support of Forensic Community Mental Health Teams.

Friends & Family Packs

A Family and Friends Information Pack has been developed by Support in Mind Scotland and the Forensic Network, with support from staff from NHS Boards across Scotland. Hard copies of the pack can be requested from the Forensic Network office, or may be available within the forensic mental health service that you are visiting. The pack includes information on the following:

Where to access support

There are specialist outside agencies who are involved in forensic mental health services who can explain your rights and the processes that you and the person you care for may go through for care and treatment.

Support in Mind Scotland & Caring Connections

Support in Mind Scotland support a national service called ”Caring Connections” which is headed by their National Forensic Mental Health Care Coordinator, Lorraine Keith. The service provides support and information for family, friends and partners of those engaged with forensic mental health services. It is an independent and confidential service, which aims to provide support for carers near their home throughout the key stages of a person’s journey through Forensic Mental Health services.

Mental Welfare Commission

The Mental Welfare Commission was originally set up in 1960 under the Mental Health Act. Their duties are set out in current mental health and incapacity law and they are accountable to Ministers at the Scottish Government, although they carry out their work independent from the Scottish Government. Their main areas of work are:

  • Visiting
  • Monitoring the Acts
  • Investigations
  • Information and advice
  • Influencing and challenging

How to make a complaint

There may be occasions when you would like to make a complaint about the care yourself or a relative or friend has received. Complaints should go direct to the NHS Service involved, however if you are unsatisfied with the outcome of the complaint after following this process, you can also contact the Scottish Public Service’s Ombudsman (SPSO).