Forensic telepsychiatry in UK
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Having developed the first Forensic Tele-psychiatry Service in UK in 2005 the presenter would like to share this experience with the attendees of the symposia. Recommendations under Part III of the Mental Health Act 1983 have also been made. They have been accepted by both the Magistrates' as well as Crown Courts. Assessments were primarily undertaken using the already existent video-link facilities within local Magistrates'/Crown courts and HM Prisons. The above experience supports the view that this saves time, cost and improves access to psychiatric services. The presenter has also developed a Forensic Telepsychiatry Steering Group, with a research subcommittee, based in Nottingham. They are coordinating several research projects, exploring the use of teleconferencing facilities within forensic psychiatry. The session will discuss how the above is relevant to Forensic Psychiatrists and also address its importance to the training of forensic psychiatrists. Tele-psychiatry has been used by other services in UK in Forensic settings albeit in a narrow remit not involving actual gate keeping assessments, preparation of Court Reports etc. The session will discuss how it is crucial for services across the UK and beyond to share experiences and promote innovative practices. It will aim to explore ways to succeed with regard to delivering timely, easily accessible and clinically sound psychiatric services, with the additional spotlight on cost-efficiency, saving valuable professional time and 'going green' with respect to health service delivery.