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A more promising architecture? Commissioners’ perspectives on the reconfiguration of personality disorder services under the Offender Personality Disorder (OPD) pathway

Jarrett, M. (2019). A more promising architecture? Commissioners’ perspectives on the reconfiguration of personality disorder services under the Offender Personality Disorder (OPD) pathway. Mental Health Review Journal, doi: 10.1108/MHRJ-06-2019-0021

Abstract

Purpose – This paper explores the views of NHS England (NHSE) and Her Majesty’s Prison and Probation Service (HMPPS) commissioners about the Offender Personality Disorder (OPD) pathway.

Design/methodology/approach – Thematic analysis of four semi-structured interviews with NHSE and HMPPS commissioners.

Findings – Commissioners offered a cautious but confident assessment of the potential effectiveness of the OPD pathway, drawing particular attention to its potential to enhance the confidence and competency of staff, offer better value for money and provide enhanced progression routes for offenders with personality disorders. Additionally, commissioners identified a number of potential risks for the pathway including wider system flux, funding availability, multi-agency working, offender engagement and the need to evidence effectiveness.

Research limitations/implications - Our analysis is based on a small number of interviews. However, there are only a limited number of commissioners involved with the OPD pathway.

Practical implications - While the stronger focus on progression in the OPD pathway is a welcome departure from a narrow focus on high security DSPD services, the foundations of the OPD pathway ultimately lie with the DSPD programme and similar challenges are likely to follow. The system within which the pathway operates is subject to a great deal of flux and this inevitably poses significant challenges for pathway services, staff and offenders, as well as for those of us charged with its evaluation.

Originality/value – There has been limited empirical work with commissioners in the mental health field. Our paper offers a unique insight into the perspectives of those responsible for commissioning the OPD pathway.

Publication Type: Article
Publisher Keywords: criminal justice, commissioning, probation, prison, rehabilitation, risk
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
Departments: School of Health Sciences > Nursing
URI: https://openaccess.city.ac.uk/id/eprint/22895
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