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Research, expertise and innovation

Partnerships in Care (PiC) has excellent clinical expertise, governance, training, research and development that characterise and support our culture of care.  We believe in continuous clinical improvements.

We combine people, disciplines and ideas in new ways to improve the lives of our patients and achieve efficiencies for the healthcare system. Our dedicated Research and Development programme, led by Professor Conor Duggan, OBE, aims to drive up quality by promoting a culture of questioning, reflection and analysis.

A leader in forensic psychiatric research

PiC has a research database which in size and scope is one of the most valuable in the UK.

We are awaiting approval by the National Information Governance Board for permission to extend data being collected through the Integrated Research Application System (IRAS), so that anonymised hospital admission, mortality and re-offending data will be more comprehensive. The database currently has information based on close to 2000 patients.

If NIGB approval is granted, the PiC database will be expanded and will have the potential to link with other databases to produce a nationally representative Outcomes Database. If so, this would support major policy decisions.

General Advice and Support to PiC staff on research

Professor Conor Duggan, Head of Research, provides general advice and support as regards research design and the need for ethical approval.

PiC supports staff in conducting research with comprehensive guidance in its recently revised policy: ‘Conducting, Hosting or Collaborating in Research’. This guides staff on the ethics of research, gaining approval for research, contracts with partner organisations and external researchers. 

PiC evaluates its clinical work using a statistical software tool called SPSS.

Staff access to research publications through Athens system

Each PiC hospital has been provided with one or more licenses for the Athens system, providing PiC staff with access to journals administered by Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust Library Service.

For information or to discuss PiC's research, email conor.duggan@partnershipsincare.co.uk

Professor Conor Duggan

Professor Conor Duggan, OBE (BSc, PhD, MD, FRCPsych) is Head of Research and Development at Partnerships in Care and Emeritus Professor at the University of Nottingham. He was until recently Editor of The Journal of Forensic Psychiatry and Psychology and chaired a NICE Guidance Committee on Antisocial personality Disorder. He was awarded an OBE for his services to mental health in June 2012. He was previously an Honorary Consultant Psychiatrist at Arnold Lodge, Regional Secure Unit in Leicester where he shared responsibility for a 22-bedded in-patient unit that treats men with personality disorder and a history of serious offending. His research interests are treatment efficacy in personality disordered offenders, their long-term course and the neuropsychological basis of psychopathy.

Research news

PiC and Nottingham Foundation Trust Forensic Services study

This successful bid led to a current study to support improvements in management of long stay patients in secure hospitals (including high secure). PiC medium secure wards at six of our hospitals are participating in this research.

PiC, University of Nottingham and the Centre for Mental Health

The research partners await National Information Governance Board (NIGB) approval for this study, which intends to compare outcome and costs between two groups – one group released from prison, another group patients discharged from a secure hospital.

PiC Electronic Outcomes Framework in partnership with Ministry of Justice

This tool is now completed and is being trialled within PiC. It is intended to be of use for commissioners and providers across the UK.

The Clinical Research Group (CRG) in Forensic Learning Disability

PiC’s Dr Regi Alexander has led the formation, funded by the Mental Health Research Network (MHRN), of this group which has brought together academics, psychiatrists, psychologists, nurses, social workers, other professionals and service users drawn from over 10 Universities and 20 NHS and independent sector hospitals across England, Scotland and Wales.

The CRG will identify priorities for forensic LD research within the UK.  It runs for 2 years and is expected to develop programmes of research that will continue to run on the MHRN beyond that. 

Typology of people with autistic spectrum disorder and violent behaviour

Dr Pete Langdon is heading up a group to develop a typology of those with autistic spectrum disorder and violent behaviour with a bid for £300,000 to the National Institute of Health Research.

Treatment outcome studies in forensic LD

Dr Catrin Morrissey is leading a bid on a systematic review of treatment outcome studies in forensic LD and identification of a common dataset. The aim is to produce a valid, reliable dataset followed by a prospective national audit.



The Clinical Utility of Social Information Processing Theory in Assessing and Treating Offenders with Autism Spectrum DisorderChester, V., & Langdon, P. Advances in Autism, 2(4).

Heterogeneity within Autism Spectrum Disorder in Forensic Mental Health: The Introduction of TypologiesAlexander, R.T., Langdon, P., Chester, V., Barnoux, M.F., Gunaratna, I., & Hoare, S. Advances in Autism, 2(4).

Vitamin D Deficiency in a Forensic Intellectual Disability Population. Chester, V., Simmons, H., Henriksen, M., & Alexander, R.T. (2016). Journal of Intellectual Disabilities [early online].

Latrogenic Harm From Psychological Therapies: Time to Move On. Parry, G., & Crawford, M., & Duggan, C. (2016).  British Journal of Psychiatry, 208(3) 210-212

Blood-Based Biomarker Candidates of Cerebral Amyloid Using PiB PET in Non-Demented Elderly. Westwood S, Leoni E, Hye A, Lynham S, Khondoker MR, Ashton NJ, Kiddle SJ, Baird AL, Sainz-Fuertes R, Leung R, et al. (2016). J Alzheimers Dis. 

Adapted DBT Programme for Individuals with Intellectual Diabilities and Problems Managing Emotions: Staff Awareness Training. Ashworth, S. Mooney, P. & Tully, R. J. (in press). Advances in Mental Health and Intellectual Disabilities. DOI 10.1108/AMHID-12-2015-0053

Emotional and Behavioural Problems in Offenders with Intellectual Disabilities: A Changing Landscape? Ashworth, S. & Mooney, P. (in press). Journal of Intellectual Disabilities Research. DOI 10.1108/JIDOB-12-2015-0047


Occupation Related Trauma Prevention and Mitigation: Considerations for Forensic Psychology. Ashworth, S. & Chou, S. (2015). Forensic Update, 118: 26-34 

Acquired Brain Injury, Trauma and Aggression. Alderman, N. (2015).  In G.Dickens, M.Picchioni and P.Sugarman (Eds.) Handbook of specialist secure inpatient mental healthcare. London: The Royal College of Psychiatrists.

A Comparison of Seclusion Rates Between Intellectual Disability and Non-Intellectual Disability Services: The Effect of Gender and Diagnosis. Katie V. Turner & Paul Mooney (2015) The Journal of Forensic Psychiatry & Psychology.

Dialectical behaviour therapy in an inpatient unit for women with a learning disability: Service users’ perspectives. Roscoe, P., Petalas, M., Hastings, R., & Thomas, C. (2015).  Journal of Intellectual Disabilities.

Clozapine use in personality disorder and intellectual disability. Kiani, R., Biswas, A., Devapriam, J., Alexander, R., Kumar, S., Andrews, H., Tromans, S.J. (2015).  Advances in Mental Health and Intellectual Disabilities, 9(6) 363-370.

Home Visits: A Reflection on Family Contact in Specialist Forensic Intellectual Disability Care. Cheshire, L., Chester, V., Graham, A., Grace, J., & Alexander, R.T. (2015).  Advances in Mental Health and Intellectual Disabilities, 9(4) 186–195.

“Why can’t they be in the community?” A policy and practice analysis of transforming care for offenders with learning disability. Alexander, R.T., Devapriam, J., Michael, D.M., McCarthy, J., Chester, V., Rai, R., Naseem, A., Roy, A. Advances in Mental Health and Intellectual Disabilities, 9(3).

Clinician Experiences of Administering the Essen Climate Evaluation Schema (EssenCES) in a Forensic Intellectual Disability Service. Chester, V., McCathie, J., Quinn, M., Popple, J., Ryan, L., Loveridge, C. & Spall, J. Advances in Mental Health and Intellectual Disabilities, 9(2) 70-78. http://www.emeraldinsight.com/doi/abs/10.1108/AMHID-06-2014-0024?journalCode=amhid

Development and validation of a treatment progress scale for personality disordered offenders. Baliousis, M., Huband, N., Duggan, C., McCarthy, L., & Völlm, B.  Personality and Mental Health.

Intellectual disability and the ICD-11: towards clinical utility? Cooray, S.E., Bhaumik, S., Roy, A., Devapriam, J., Rai, R., & Alexander, R. Advances in Mental Health and Intellectual Disabilities, 9(1) 3-8.

Arson or fire setting in offenders with intellectual disability: clinical characteristics, forensic histories and treatment outcomes. Alexander, R. T., Chester, V., Green, F. N., Gunaratna, I., & Hoare, S. Journal of Intellectual & Developmental Disability.

An analysis of the clinical, forensic, and treatment outcome factors of those with Autistic Spectrum Disorders treated in Forensic Intellectual Disability Settings. Esan, F., Chester, V., Alexander, R. T., Gunaratna, I. J. & Hoare, S. Journal of Applied Research in Intellectual Disabilities.

Real Work Opportunities: Establishing an Inclusive and Accessible Programme within a Forensic Intellectual Disability Service. Cox, A., Simmons, H., Painter, G., Philipson, P., Hill, R., & Chester, V. (2015). Journal of Intellectual Disabilities and Offending Behaviour, 5(4). http://www.emeraldinsight.com/doi/abs/10.1108/JIDOB-10-2014-0016

In-patient services for people with intellectual disability and mental health or behavioural difficulties. Devapriam, J., Rosenbach, A., & Alexander, R. (2015). BJPsych Advances, 21, 116-123. http://apt.rcpsych.org/content/21/2/116



Management of aggression care plans in a forensic intellectual disability service: a ten-year progress update. Kitchen, D., Thomas, C., Chester, V. Journal of Intellectual Disabilities and Offending Behaviour, Vol. 5 Iss 2 pp. 88-96 (2014)

A Pilot Study Examining ADHD and Behavioural Disturbance in Female Mentally Disordered Offenders. Hollingdale, J., Woodhouse, E., Asherson, P., Gudjonsson, G.H., Young, S. AIMS Pulic Health, Vol. 1, Issue 2, 100-108 (2014)

Impact of care pathway-based approach on outcomes in a specialist intellectual disability inpatient unit. Devapriam, J., Alexander, R., Gumber, R., Pither, J. & Gangadharan, S. (2014).  Journal of Intellectual Disabilities, 1-10. 

Precursors to aggression are evident by 6 months of ageHay D F, Waters C S, Perra O, Swift N, Kairis V, Phillips R, Jones R, Goodyer I, Harold G, Thapar A, van Goozen S. Developmental Science,  17(3), 471–480 (2014)

Life Skills Group: increasing foundation knowledge and motivation in offenders with a learning disability. Patterson C, Thomas C. Journal of Intellectual Disabilities and Offending Behaviour, 5 (1) 4 -13 (2014)

Options in managing clozapine induced hypersalivation: a survey of secure services consultants. Kasmi Y. Royal College of Psychiatry Central Faculty of Forensic Psychiatry Annual Conference, Belfast (March 2014)

Real Work Opportunities: A Brighter Future. Kasmi Y, Phillipson P, Swires D. Institute of Psychiatry 11th Annual Conference of Research in Forensic Mental Health, King's College, London  (April 2014)

Pain Experience and Management in a Forensic Intellectual Disability Service. Chester V, Henriksen  M. Advances in Mental Health and Intellectual Disabilities, 8(2) 120-127  (2014)


The place of evidence in the treatment of sex offenders Duggan C,Dennis J Criminal Behaviour and Mental Health (2013)

Exploring the linkage between personality disorder and violence: Implications for the proposed ICD-11 classification of personality disorders Howard R, Khalifa N, Duggan C Criminal Behaviour and Mental Health (2013)

The impact of treatment on hostile-dominance in forensic psychiatric inpatients: Relationship between change in hostile dominance and recidivism following release from custody Daffern M, McCarthy L, Huband N, Lee S, Thomas S, Simpson K, Duggan C Journal of Forensic Psychiatry and Psychology (2013)

Readmission after discharge from a medium secure unit Clarke M, Davies S, Hollin C, Duggan C, Huband N, McCarthy L The Psychiatrist 37, 124 – 129 (2013)

Personality and Offending chapter (within  A Dictionary of Criminal Justice, Mental Health and Risk) Taylor P, Corteen K, Morley S The Policy Press (2013)

The Natural Course of Personality Disorders Autistic Spectrum Disorder, Personality Disorder and a reading disability: A complex case that falls between the cracks Duggan C   In press: Australian Clinical Psychology Association (ACPARIAN) (2013)

Reoffending in forensic patients released from secure care: the role of antisocial/borderline personality disorder comorbidity, substance dependence and severe childhood conduct disorder Howard R, McCarthy L, Huband N, Duggan C Criminal Behaviour and Mental Health 10.1002/cbm.1852 (2013)

A Comparison of Mentally Disordered Male Offenders with  and without a sexual offence: their characteristics and outcomes. Duggan CF, Hollin CR, Huband N, Clarke M, McCarthy L, Davies S, Sexual Offender Treatment Volume 8 Issue 1 (2013)

The Self And Other Deception Questionnaires – intellectual disabilities (SDQ-ID and ODQ-ID): Component analysis and reliability. Jobson L, Stanbury A, Langdon PE, Research in Developmental Disabilities, 34, 3576-3582 (2013)

Predicting Institutional Violence in Offenders with Intellectual Disabilities: The predictive efficacy of the VRAG and the HCR-20. Fitzgerald S, Gray NS, Alexander RT, Bagshaw R, Chesterman R, Huckle P, Jones SK, Taylor J, Williams T, & Snowden RJ, Journal of Applied Research in Intellectual Disabilities, 26, 384-393 (2013)

Violence Risk Assessment and Management 2nd Edition. Webster C, Haque Q, Hucker S,  Wiley-Blackwell (2013)

The evaluation of the impact of CCTV in a forensic healthcare setting. Gilluley M, Cree A, Thompson S, Haque Q. International Association of Forensic Mental Health Services (IAFMHS) Maastricht, Netherlands (2013)

Lack of insight: no longer a bar to forensic rehabilitation. Bailey K, Jennings M 8th European Congress on Violence in  Clinical Psychiatry, Belgium

Infants at familial risk for depression show a distinct pattern of cortisol response to experimental challenge.
Waters CS, van Goozen S, Phillips R, Swift N, Hurst SL, Mundy L, Jones R, Jones I, Goodyer I, Hay DF, Affect Disord (June 2013)

Angry affect and violence in the context of a psychotic illness: a systematic review and meta-analysis of the literature.
Reagu S, Jones R, Kumari V, Taylor PJ, Schizophr Res, Volume 146, 1-3 pp.46-52 (May 2013)

Prevalence of mental disorders among detained asylum seekers in deportation arrest in Switzerland and validation of the Brief Jail Mental Health Screen BJMHS. Graf M, Wermuth P, Häfeli D, Weisert A, Reagu S, Pflüger M, Taylor P, Dittmann V, Jones R, International journal of law and psychiatry 36(3):201-206 (May 2013)

Rehabilitation Approaches to the Management of Aggressive Behaviour Disorders after Acquired Brain Injury. Nick Alderman, Caroline Knight, and Jennifer Brooks Brain impairment volume 14 number 1 may pp. 5–20 _c the author(s), published by Cambridge University Press on behalf of Australian Academic Press pty ltd (2013). To view this article please click here


‘Shared Pathway’ national pilot project: the experience of a secure learning disability service. Esan  F, Pittaway M, Nyamande B, & Graham A,  Journal of Learning Disabilities and Offending Behaviour, 3 (2) 98 – 110. (2012)

Patients with Personality Disorders and Intellectual Disability – Closer to Personality Disorders or Intellectual Disability? A Three-way Comparison  Alexander RT, Chester V, Gray NS, & Snowden, RJ, Journal of Forensic Psychiatry and Psychology, 23 (4) 435-451 (2012)

 Implementing a patient centred recovery approach in a secure learning disabilities service. Esan F, Case K. Louis J, Kirby J, Cheshire L, Keefe J & Petty M,  Journal of Learning Disabilities and Offending Behaviour, 3 (1) 24-35. (2012)

'The Essen Climate Evaluation Schema measure of social climate: Is this an appropriate measure for use in a secure learning disability service?' Quinn M, Thomas C & Chester V,  Advances in Mental Health and Intellectual Disabilities, 6 (4) 171-179. (2012)

'Working in Psychiatry & Addictions in Immigration Detention' Allen D, The PTC Newsletter  (2012)

 'A case of acute suicidality following excessive caffeine intake'  Allen  D, Szpak A, Journal of Psychopharmacology (Online) doi: 10.1177/0269881112442788  (2012)

'Exploring forensic mental health service users views on work: An interpretative phenomenological analysis'  McQueen J, Turner J,  British Journal of Forensic Practice (in press) (2012)

'Implementation of Dialectical Therapy within a forensic psychiatric setting for male and female patients', Henderson P, Raleigh K , Royal College of Psychiatry (2012)

'The Efficacy of Psychological Interventions for the Treatment of Anger in Offenders: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis', Gilham R, Walker, J, Reagu S, Arlidge J, Taylor PJ, Jones RM,  9th National Conference on Research in Forensic Mental Health Services  (2012)

'Exploring forensic mental health service users views on work: An interpretative phenomenological analysis', McQueen J, COT National Conference (2012)