Regional Secure Units

Regional Secure Units (RSUs) have been set up around the country, in line with current policy to expand the number of 'medium secure' beds in each health district. This is so that the majority of psychiatric patients with violent behaviour, and of psychiatrically disturbed offenders, can receive treatment locally and only the most dangerous ones be sent to Special Hospitals.

A typical RSU might have 20 beds, under the supervision of a consultant forensic psychiatrist and associated multidisciplinary team. Inpatient beds are frequently full, with pressure to accept referrals of 'difficult-to-manage' (not necessarily forensic) patients from general psychiatric services. Such patients can be difficult to contain in modern psychiatric wards, which frequently lack intensive care beds (see Chapter 25).

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