Standards, publications and resources



  Standards for Forensic Mental Health Services Fourth Edition

These standards, published May 2019, provide a framework for improving quality in medium and low secure mental health services.

They've been developed following extensive consultation with key stakeholders and a thorough examination of the key literature.

Download our standards for Medium and Low Secure Services (2019).

Each cycle the Quality Network for Forensic Mental Health Services publishes an aggregated report; this contains the aggregated data from the Cycle, as well as section summaries and comparison data.

Each unit is issued an anonymous number so that they can benchmark themselves against other services and the average score from services across the UK and Republic of Ireland.

Medium Secure: Cycle 12 2017-2019 (PDF)

Low Secure: Cycle 6 2017-2019  (PDF)

Medium Secure: Cycle 11 2016 - 2017 (PDF)

Low Secure: Cycle 5 2016 - 2017 (PDF)

We invite members of staff and patients from forensic mental health services, family and friends, and external stakeholders to submit an article for the Quality Network’s newsletter for medium and low secure care.

Our next edition (Issue 47), will cover 'lessons learned from COVID-19'. If you would like to contribute to the next edition of the newsletter, please email

Creative writing booklet

This Summer, for the first time ever the Quality Networks for Forensic and Prison Mental Health Services launched a creative writing competition for patients. We received some fantastic entries and have showcased all the entries in this special edition creative writing booklet:

Creative writing booklet (2020)

We have moved our email discussion groups onto a new, free to join, online forum called knowledge hub. All our members are invited to join the QNFMHS discussion forum on knowledge hub, which will allow you to:

  • Share best practice and quality improvement initiatives
  • Seek advice and connect with other members
  • Discuss current issues and policies
  • Share policies, procedures and guidelines
  • Advertise and view upcoming events and conferences

To join knowledge hub, please email ‘join knowledge hub’ to:

We have collaborated with NHS England to develop the Carer's Toolkit, which focuses on carer support and involvement in secure mental health services. The toolkit was developed in collaboration with professionals, carers and service users of forensic mental health services and is designed to increase carer engagement and experiences. 

We launched the toolkit at the College on 27 March 2018 at our event 'NHS England's launch of the secure carers' toolkit'. Resources and presentations from this event can be found on our events page. 

Access the Carer's Toolkit (PDF) 

Get in contact to receive further information regarding a career in psychiatry