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The Royal College of Psychiatrists Improving the lives of people with mental illness

CR150. Rethinking Risk to Others in Mental Health Services


Price: £10.00

Approved: Mar 2008

Published: Jun 2008

Status: under review

Number of pages: 52

Review by: 2011

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This report focuses on risks posed to others, and aims to stimulate further debate and research as well as improvements in clinical practice and patient and public safety. It sets out current understanding of best practice and points to future action needed for further improvements.

The assessment and management of risk are integral to psychiatric practice. Over the last 10 years, the risk posed by mental health service users to others has been brought into the spotlight by the government and media as inquiries into serious incidents have suggested failings in the risk management of some patients with mental disorders.

All psychiatrists are conscious of the immeasurable impact of homicides and violence on victims, perpetrators and families, and recognise their responsibility to their patients and the wider public to use their professional skills to reduce risk.

The report describes key findings from a major survey of College members, and makes recommendations to improve the assessment and management of risk.

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