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UK secure mental health facility is approved for Jersey

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A SECURE mental-health facility in Essex has been approved as an establishment where Islanders in the criminal justice system can be referred.

Deputy of St Ouen, Richard Renouf Picture: ROB CURRIE. (25825900)

Health Minister Richard Renouf has signed a ministerial decision ordering the designation of Brockfield House, near Basildon, as an ‘approved establishment’ under the Island’s Mental Health Law that was enacted in 2016.

The report accompanying the ministerial decision says that is the first time a facility outside Jersey has been registered as an ‘approved establishment’ under the legislation.

It adds: ‘In terms of economy of scale there has not been, and still remains, no capacity to staff an approved establishment of this nature to serve the needs of individuals requiring specialist treatment in Jersey.

‘Governance and due-diligence checks have been completed and Brockfield House has been identified as appropriate and adequate to fulfil that requirement.

‘To date only establishments in Jersey have been approved by the minister but in some cases we require the use of establishments in the United Kingdom and for the purposes of this request Brockfield House.’

A government spokeswoman added: ‘Brockfield House is a secure unit which provides treatment to patients who have been made subject to an article of criminal justice.

‘Due to the small number of individuals that require such a facility it is not economic to create an approved establishment such as Brockfield House in Jersey.

‘We are confident it offers high-quality treatment and care in this important area of our work, as we strive to provide the best treatment in the realm of mental-health provision.’

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She added that the government could not confirm the reasons why any Islanders might be admitted to Brockfield House because it would breach patient confidentiality.

Brockfield House’s website says it is a ‘forensic inpatient service’ for patients aged 18 to 65 who are detained under mental -health laws or court orders and require ‘low to medium security’.

It says that its patients include those who need inpatient assessment and treatment, no longer require high secure care but need secured ongoing treatment, and can no longer be cared for within mainstream services because of their behaviour.

Referrals to the centre come from consultant psychiatrists, prison services, the courts and the police.

The government spokeswoman said before the 2016 law was enacted, patients were transferred following a tribunal and individual ministerial decision.

Ian Heath

By Ian Heath
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