QNFMHS: Standards, publications and resources


Below you can find a range of resources which explore the work of the Quality Network for Forensic Mental Health Services and good practice within forensic settings.

These standards, published in July 2023, 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 (2023)

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.

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 forensics@rcpsych.ac.uk.

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) 

During the consultation process for the third edition of low and medium secure standards (2019), we received feedback that these standards would be more useful in a physical security document that can be adapted locally.

The following document has been devised using the physical security standards as a framework. It should be utilised as a ‘live’ document that is subject to continual review. Some elements are mandatory for all services; however, each area provides you with the opportunity to define how this practice occurs locally.

What is the purpose of this tool?

The purpose of the physical security document is to clearly describe the features of physical security within your service. The aim of this tool has been defined as the following:

  • To act as a standardised tool that can be adapted locally to manage physical security
  • To be used as an assessment and compliance tool
  • To provide a consistent process of assurance
  • To aid training for staff in physical security It is important to note that all staff have a responsibility to ensure the principles of recovery are maintained and a caring and therapeutic environment is promoted, despite the secure nature of the service.

Access the document

Access the document in Excel

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