The importance of face-to-face contact was emphasised: few forensic carers valued written information above the chance to talk, listen and question.  Being involved in a process of information exchange begins to move onto the territory of involvement and also intersects with carers need for support.  For instance, many carers spoke of the sense of feeling included as part of ‘the team’.  Nevertheless, in their time visiting secure units, slightly fewer than 40% of carers responding to the survey had received information indicating their rights, such as to a carers’ assessment.  Even amongst these there were some who felt this information had not been timely, commenting that it had been ‘too little, too late’.

Different kinds of information identified as necessary by forensic carers included information about:

  • Assessment, care and progress
  • The institution, rules and regulations, staff, teams
  • The support for relatives
  • Carers’ rights, and/or how to make a complaint
  • How to deal with patients’ emotions or behaviour
  • The ward, how it was run, what to expect
  • Specific transitions or events, such as being told in advance of their relative being moved in the system, or if particular incidents have happened

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