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Medical Society: Dr Tim McInerny on Forensic Psychiatry

The third meeting of the Medical Society was fortunate to have Dr Tim McInerny give a talk. Dr McInerny is a top Consultant Forensic Psychiatrist who currently works in the medium secure mental health hospital which is part of the NHS Royal Bethlehem in London. He also worked in the Young Person’s ward in Broadmoor Hospital (a high security mental health hospital near Ascot).

He gave the 100 strong audience a fascinating insight into the treatment provided to such complex patients who had committed serious offences (using examples of cases to put it into context). This treatment costs the government £180,000 per year per patient as opposed to a person in jail who costs £40,000 per year. However this is justified by the very low re-offending rate of 6% in the first 25 years. This is dramatically lower than someone coming out of jail who has a 40-60% chance of re-offending in the first 2 years.

He also outlined the reasons he thought Forensic Psychiatry was such an interesting profession. Some examples he gave were that it is the field of medicine with interacts with law, moral and ethics. He is able to get to know each of his patients extremely well as he has only 18 patients for on average 4 years. He also enjoys the interest his job draws socially which he uses to try and expel any misconceptions.

His talk was followed up by a field of questions ranging from the process of psychotherapy to the effect of violent video games and films have on the tendency of the person to commit a crime. Apparently films do increase the risk but video games don’t, according to studies.

It was a great evening, well attended and continues on the run of interesting talks already at the Medical Society.

 

Gabriel Benthall CJD

DATE POSTED: 01 December 2009

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