Letters

In response to your article, '£70m earmarked to treat dangerous disorders' (news, pages 6-7, 28 September) I would like to clarify the situation.

Rampton Hospital is a significant national provider of services to patients with personality disorder who require care and treatment under conditions of high security.

The health secretary has recently granted the personality disorder service at Rampton Hospital 'beacon status'.

Rampton Hospital has been identified as a pilot health service site for the assessment of those individuals who may be considered 'dangerous with severe personality disorder'.

Assessments under the pilot are being carried out only on those patients who would normally be admitted to Rampton Hospital personality disorder service, under existing mental health legislation. There is no legislative provision at present to detain people, without due legal process.

To develop the assessment protocol, staff here liaise closely with Whitemoor Prison, the prison service pilot site for DSPD and the joint Department of Health/Home Office working group. In addition, a team comprising a consultant forensic psychiatrist and a senior nurse have been seconded to Whitemoor Prison from Rampton Hospital to carry out full psychiatric examinations of those people transferred to Whitemoor for the DSPD assessment.

It is envisaged that as a result of the assessment pilot, a standardised, robust assessment protocol will be developed to identify individuals thought to be dangerous as a result of severe personality disorder.

Such an assessment will allow for the development of a coherent, evidence-based treatment package.

Rampton Hospital personality disorder service welcomes enquiries or visits from interested parties.

Dr G Krishnan Consultant psychiatrist Rampton Hospital Authority