Forensic mental health services: independent review


This is an independent review looking into how forensic mental health services are being delivered in hospitals, prisons and the community across Scotland. Forensic mental health services specialise in the assessment, treatment and risk management of people with a mental disorder who are currently undergoing, or have previously undergone, legal or court proceedings.

This review was announced in March 2019 by Clare Haughey, Minister for Mental Health in response to new developments and changes in the delivery of these services in recent years.  

It is a non-statutory review which is being carried out in line with the principles set out in Professor Alison Britton’s report, An investigative review into the process of establishing, managing and supporting independent reviews in Scotland

See the terms of reference for the full list of specific issues that the review has been asked to consider. 

The review is expected to report by the end of June 2020.

Phase one: gathering views

The first phase of the review is evidence gathering. We opened a call for evidence on 14 October 2019. We have extended the time on this call for evidence and it will be live until 31 January 2020. 

We want to hear the views of: 

  • anyone who is currently receiving forensic mental health services or has received them in the past
  • family members or carers of those who have received these services
  • individuals working to deliver these services
  • organisations that are delivering, commissioning or monitoring these services.
  • anyone who has research or personal interest in the delivery of forensic mental health services

To find out more about the call of evidence and to respond to it online visit the review page on the consultation hub

We recognise that responding to a written call for evidence is not the way everyone would want - or is able - to tell us about their experiences. We are visiting secure hospitals and prisons to speak with people who are receiving and delivering forensic mental health services there. Working group members representing people who have lived experience are helping the review to find out how people who are receiving these services would prefer to tell the review about their experiences.

Read our privacy policy.

If you want to tell the review about your experience in another way, or support someone else to, please get in touch. Contact details are at the right side of this page.


Derek Barron, Director of Care at Erskine was announced as the Chair to the review in May 2019. He is supported by a small secretariat team. 

The review has established three working groups to support work across the key settings in which forensic mental health services are delivered: hospitals, criminal justice and the community. These groups include people from over 45 organisations who represent: 

  • people with lived experience of forensic mental health services, their relatives, carers and representatives
  • organisations commissioning, delivering and monitoring forensic mental health services as well as those providing support services
  • staff-side and professional organisations
  • organisations involved in legal and court proceedings

See the list of organisations represented in the three working groups