Forensic Network

The Forensic Mental Health Services Managed Care Network (Forensic Network) was established in September 2003 by Scottish Government. The aim was to bring a pan-Scotland approach to the planning of services, address fragmentation across the Forensic Mental Health Estate, determine the most effective care for mentally disordered offenders, consider wider issues surrounding patient pathways, align strategic planning across Scotland, and address teaching, training and research needs.

Since the recognition of need for a managed care network, the Forensic Network has aptly risen to the challenge of achieving these aims. The Forensic Network’s multi-agency approach facilitates information sharing across the estate and strong working relationships with our partners in the third sector and with regional associates allows for continual improvement to the planning of services and the patient journey across the forensic mental health estate. The Forensic Network has worked with regional and government colleagues to develop national policy on the configuration of services and the assessment and management of restricted patients. The predominate focus of the Forensic Network’s attention has been on key issues, such as: defining levels of security; services for LD; services for women; personality disorder; as well as planning the configuration of the forensic estate, resolving clinical conflicts and liaison between Scottish Prison Service and NHS Services.

Structure of the Forensic Networkfn


Forensic Network Advisory Board and Inter Regional Group – These form the main governance structures for the Network. The Forensic Network Advisory Board is a national oversight group that provides national strategic direction and brings a pan-Scotland approach to the planning of services and patient pathways. To read more about the Forensic Network Advisory Board, please visit our page.

The Inter Regional Group consists of regional and clinical leads. The group assists the development of regional multi-agency structures and serves as the national operational working group, to coordinate and implement the decisions of the Forensic Network Advisory Board. The group bridges the gap between strategy and policy, and operational and clinical activity within forensic units. To read more about the Inter Regional Group please visit our page, or to read more about the regional structure of the Forensic Network, please see below.

Professional Groups – The Forensic Network supports a number of professional groups which provide colleagues across the estate with opportunities to consider discipline specific issues. These include Forensic Allied Health Professionals, Carer Coordinators, Carer Forum, Lead Nurses, Social Work, Pharmacists, Scottish Forensic Clinical Psychology Group (SFCPG), and Scottish Care Programme Approach. To read more about the groups we support, please see our section on professional groups.

Clinical Fora – The Clinical For a are a series of themed multi agency, multi disciplinary events.  OPEN to all and designated to Operational working, Policy, Education and Networking. The Forensic Network supports Clinical Fora over a range of subjects, in the past year there have been meetings on: Addictions, Learning Disabilities, MAPPA, Personality Disorder and Problem Behaviours, Prison, Risk, Sex Offender Practitioners – jointly chaired by NOTA Scotland Branch, Victims and Trauma, and Women. To see more about our upcoming Clinical Fora please see our bookings page.

Working Groups – The Network commission short life working groups who are allocated responsibility on a range of topic specific or geographical specific projects, providing multi-disciplinary direction where national guidance is required.  At present there are working groups looking at electronic monitoring and referral criteria to medium and high secure units. To read more about our current short life working groups, please see our section on working groups.

Continuous Quality Improvement Framework ReviewsThe Network facilitates and coordinates reviews of forensic services across all levels of security (high, medium, low and community). The review process involves defining appropriate quality standards, the service conducting a self-assessment, an evaluation review by peers, devising a report and action plan, and a conference sharing good practice. To read more about how we support services to achieve their quality improvement aims, please click here.

Regional Structure of Forensic Network & Services in Scotland

The Forensic Network supports National, Regional and local services across Scotland to provide Forensic Mental Health & Learning Disabilities Services across the spectrum of levels of security.

High Secure Services National The State Hospital, Carstairs
Medium Secure Services Regional North – Rohallion Clinic, Perth
South East – Orchard Clinic, Edinburgh
West – Rowanbank Clinic, Glasgow       

West - National Learning Disability Unit (Rowanbank Clinic)

Low Secure Services & Community Local Most Health Boards have Low Secure Services, Community Forensic Mental Health Teams and Forensic Learning Disabilities Teams

Regional services are linked to existing regional planning arrangements and the Network has Regional Clinical and Management Leads for each Region. Further information and contact details for each Region can be found below:


NHS Grampian, NHS Tayside and NHS Highlands and Islands make up the North of Scotland Region.

Regional Lead:
Barbara Wilson


Regional Clinical Lead:
Stuart Doig


South & East

NHS Lothian, NHS Fife and NHS Forth Valley forms the South and East Region for Forensic Mental Health Services.  The Orchard Clinic is the regional medium secure unit in Edinburgh, it opened in 2000.

Regional Lead:
Elizabeth Gallagher


Regional Clinical Lead:
Fionnbar Lenihan


NHS Glasgow and Clyde, NHS Lanarkshire, NHS Ayrshire & Arran and NHS Dumfries and Galloway form the West of Scotland Region. The West of Scotland Forensic Planning Group is responsible for planning Forensic Mental Health Services across the region. The Rowanbank Clinic is the regional medium secure unit and opened in Glasgow in July 2007.

Regional Lead:
James Meade


Regional Clinical Lead:
Martin Culshaw


The State Hospital

The State Hospitals Board for Scotland provides high secure care at a national level.



Associate Medical Director:
Duncan Alcock


General Manager:
Robert Alexander