Forensic Mental Health Services – Planning and Collaboration Short Life Working Group


The group held its final meeting on 24 January 2023. A report setting out the results of the options appraisal exercise for recommendation one will be available here soon. We aim to publish a more detailed report in the spring of 2023 setting out progress with implementation of the Barron recommendations and provide insight into the planned programme of work over the next year and beyond.

Following the Independent Review into the Delivery of Forensic Mental Health Services, the Scottish Government has established a short life working group(SLWG), including key stakeholders, to propose changes to improve support for planning, collaboration and improvement of forensic mental health services in Scotland. 

Emphasising that the SLWG will not revisit the work of the Independent Review and recognising the extensive input to the Independent Review from those with lived experience, carers and professional groups, the SLWG will consider how best to bring forward the change that is needed. Change is essential, for the reasons clearly set out in Independent Review final report

This SLWG will be strictly time limited, with an expectation of its work concluding in the first part of 2022. The SLWG will be focussed and limited in number of members, with a responsibility to engage fairly, broadly and to assess best evidence for a way forward.

For any queries regarding the Independent Review into the Delivery of Forensic Mental Health Services, or for information about the Short Life Working Group, please contact the Forensic Mental Health Reform Team by email



  • Mr Gavin Gray, Deputy Director, Improving Mental Health Services

Scottish Government advisors

  • Ms Kate Bell, Scottish Government Advisor on Strategic Change
  • Dr Ian Dewar, Scottish Government, Principal Medical Officer (Forensic Psychiatry)
  • Ms Julie Lusk, Scottish Government Advisor on Social Work in Adult Mental Health


  • Ms Hannah Axon, CoSLA
  • Mr Jim Cannon, Director of Regional Planning (North)
  • Ms Catriona Dalrymple, Deputy Director Community Justice
  • Mr Gary Jenkins, Chief Executive, The State Hospital and mental health lead for NHS Scotland Chief Executive Group
  • Mr Gordon Johnston, Director, Voices of eXperience (VOX)
  • Ms Michele Mason, Area Manager, Edinburgh Support in Mind Scotland
  • Dr Jamie Kirkland, Consultant Clinical Psychologist, Forensic Intellectual Disability Services NHS Glasgow and NHS Fife
  • Mr James Meade, NHS Forensic Services General and Service Managers and member from West region
  • Professor Lindsay Thomson, Medical Director, Forensic Network and School of Forensic Mental Health
  • Ms Linda Walker, Head Occupational Therapist in NHS Lothian & Allied Health Professional Mental Health Lead
  • Professor Angela Wallace, Nurse Director, Forth Valley and chair of the Women’s Pathways Group


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