Pathway Press issue 4 shines the light on the Offender PD Strategy from various perspectives

Pathway Press issue 4: With implementation of the Offender PD strategy now firmly underway, this fourth edition of the Pathway Press takes stock of what’s in store between now and March 2015. Shining a spotlight on the strategy from various perspectives along the pathway, we asked colleagues: ‘What will the strategy mean for you?’

  • Rachel Wilson and Terry Kirkby, NOMS and NHS PD co-commissioners for the Mid sector, give us the co-commissioners’ view
  • Sue Ryan from Resettle offers a view on service user involvement
  • Alex Worsman and Nikki Jeffcote at HMP Belmarsh provide the view from a new service on the offender PD pathway
  • Alice Bennett, trainee forensic psychologist at the Westgate Unit at HMP Frankland, gives us the view from an existing treatment site and
  • Tracy Clarke, manager of Crowley House Approved Premises, shares her view from a women’s PIPE.

Share your reflections of what the Offender PD strategy will mean for you by emailing and we’ll include a selection of the best contributions in our next edition!

Enabling features of Psychologically Informed Planned Environments (PIPEs): Ministry of Justice Research Report (2013), produced by NatCen Social Research

New research ‘Enabling features of Psychologically Informed Planned Environments‘ (MOJ report produced by NatCen Social Research), was commissioned to support the development and refinement of the PIPE model through the field test stage.

Key findings

The research suggested that the key elements of the PIPE model are:

  • Providing formal mechanisms of support for offenders through regular personal officer/key worker sessions to discuss offenders’ experiences within the PIPE, reflecting on positive and negative behaviour and discussion of their personal goals for the future.
  • Establishing and maintaining safe and supportive relationships between staff and offenders, such as opportunities to talk informally and respectful day to day interaction.
  • Taking a collaborative approach to management and organisation, including encouraging offenders to plan and organise activities and work through problems by themselves

Whilst the research did not evaluate the effectiveness of the PIPEs, staff and offenders gave their views about emerging and possible impacts

  • PIPEs facilitate improved relationships between staff and offenders, with some staff highlighting a reduction in bullying.
  • Staff reported that working on a PIPE had given them more skills in interacting with offenders, and a deeper understanding of why people with PD behave in the way they do

Some offenders reported that they felt more equipped to deal with their impulsive behaviours and would use strategies to manage more challenging interactions.

Lessons learned from the field test

  • Inconsistent approaches by staff can undermine helpful interaction with offenders; and here PIPE Clinical Leads play a key role in supporting and developing staff
  • Communication about PIPEs needs to filter through all levels of operation so that there is appropriate strategic leadership within establishments
  • Having non-PIPE prisoners (‘lodgers’) on units can undermine the potential impact of the prison PIPE

How will the findings be used?

A number of lessons from the research have been incorporated into the development of the revised PIPE Model Specification and the delivery plan for further roll-out. This includes:

  • Further clarity from NHS/NOMS on where local flexibility in implementation is acceptable
  • Addressing the issue of ‘lodgers’ in PIPE services, so that all those who reside in a PIPE meet the requirements of the PIPEs specification
  • An emphasis and guidance on consistency in approaches by staff working in the PIPE
  • Ensuring there is organisational commitment from across the prison establishment and/or probation organisation to help ensure the PIPE is supported at all levels of operation and that there is appropriate strategic leadership

Research method

Qualitative research was undertaken in three PIPE case study sites between February and June 2012: a wing in a male prison, an approved premises and a female prison wing.

Fieldwork took place over three days and involved interviews and group discussions with strategic and operational staff, depth interviews with residents and prisoners, and video observations of key PIPE activities.

The research employed a qualitative observational approach to identify the key enabling features of the PIPE, as observed by staff, offenders, and objective observers.

A workshop was then held and attended by NOMS and NHS stakeholders and representatives from the seven pilot sites.

Innovation in Action: Review of the Effectiveness of Centrally Commissioned Community Personality Disorder Services

The ‘Innovation in Action‘ report, written by Dr Lisa Wilson and Dr Rex Haigh,  presents a summary of the findings of the review of National Community Personality Disorder Pilots commissioned by the Department of Health in 2004.

The aim of the commissioning of these pilots was to identify practice-based evidence regarding effective therapeutic interventions with individuals experiencing complex emotional needs. This was identified in Personality Disorder: No Longer a Diagnosis of Exclusion (2003) as an area of unmet need for a significant proportion of the national population.

‘Innovation in Action’ outlines the outcomes of the pilots with regards to quality, innovation, productivity and prevention. A number of key findings are identified that should inform the future development of policy and practice for this clinical population; furthermore a number of recommendations are made with regard to developing future services and the importance of maintaining those already in operation.

Map of the PD pilots

The ‘Innovation in Action’ report highlights the following points:

  • Significant progress has been made towards the establishment of practice-based evidence for providing a therapeutic service for individuals with complex emotional needs. This evidence base can guide the development of future evidence based practice as well as service development.
  • A range of service models and theoretical orientations were implemented by different services, and while no specific model amongst these emerged as superior, there were a number of general therapeutic conditions that were common to all the services.
  • The pilot services all demonstrated the following fundamental assumptions to delivering the treatment.
  • The importance of:
    human relationships
    the psychosocial environment
    investment in the programme
    importance of leadership
    effective team work
    establishing good networks and partnerships.
  • The national pilots have achieved significant results in relation to both human and economic cost savings.
  • There is good evidence amongst the pilots of the prevention of continuing harm and the prevention of deterioration of conditions.
  • The services have enabled individuals to access employment and work-related activities, as well as reducing the demands on a range of agencies.

Joint Head of the Offender Personality Disorder Programme: Vacancy details

An opportunity has arisen for a secondment or fixed term contract initially for 12 months. As Joint Head of the Offender PD Pathway Implementation you will be jointly responsible for implementing the Offender Personality Disorder Pathway Programme.

The post holder will lead a dynamic NHS team in developing and delivering an effective offender PD service across the country operating in all four NHS regions working within a defined budget. The post holder will represent and act on behalf of the interests of NHS England in implementation of the Offender PD programme.

You will develop effective co-commissioning and operational activities for promoting innovation and implementation at national and regional levels and between health, social care and criminal justice agencies working closely and in partnership with colleagues and key stakeholders across the country.

The Joint Team currently works from NOMS at Clive House, London and at four regional offices. It is expected that you will work in London for a minimum of 1 day a week, primarily co-located with the NOMS Joint Lead at Clive House in London.

In addition the post also offers the opportunity to travel regularly to locations throughout England.

This position is no longer available.

High Quality Care For All

Lord Darzi recently launched the NHS Next Stage Review final report which sets a new foundation for a health service that empowers staff and gives patients choice. Press the ‘Play’ button to watch the report launch via the Our NHS website.

The report aims to ensure that health care will be personalised and fair, include the most effective treatments within a safe system, and help patients to stay healthy.

Changing the Care Services Improvement Partnership

The Department of Health and the Strategic Health Authorities have implemented changes to the Care Services Improvement Partnership’s role and way of working. The document below gives a summary of the changes agreed following a thorough review of CSIP’s eight regional development centres and nationally coordinated programmes that come under its auspices.

The value of CSIP’s programmes has been recognised and their role in supporting improvement across and beyond health and social care remains pivotal to the effective delivery of an ambitious policy agenda.