The interface between forensic psychiatry and general adult psychiatry
The relationship between forensic and general adult psychiatry has, in recent years, generated a lively and, at times, heated debate. Forensic psychiatrists have perceived a difficulty in discharging patients with the stigma of criminal convictions and offending histories to community care. Turner and Salter have suggested that forensic psychiatrists in the UK should consider restricting themselves to medico-legal practice; however this may risk throwing the baby out with the bathwater. Maden argues cogently that the evidence on risk assessment in relation to both forensic and general psychiatry patients is unequivocal. Both general and forensic psychiatrists have hitherto neglected individuals with primary personality disorder. In terms of resource allocation, general adult services could consider employing some of the politically savvy strategies of forensic services, such as admitting all deserving acutely disturbed patients to an open bed, which may, by necessity, be in the private sector.