The recall of conditionally discharged forensic patients in England is a formal order from the Ministry of Justice under the Mental Health Act (1983) which has the power to revoke conditional release and direct readmission to hospital. Recall has significant implications for the individual and for hospital services, but despite this, little is known about predictors of recall for forensic patients.

We examined the rate of recall for 101 patients conditionally discharged from medium secure forensic inpatient services between 2007 and 2013. Demographic, clinical, and forensic factors were examined as possible predictors of time to recall using Cox regression survival techniques.

Conditionally discharged patients were followed for an average of 811 days, during which 45 (44.5%) were recalled to hospital. Younger age (HR 1.89; 95% CI 1.02–3.49; p = 0.04), non-white ethnicity (HR 3.44; 95% CI 1.45–8.13), substance abuse history (HR 2.52; 95% CI 1.17–5.43), early violence (HR 1.90; 95% CI 1.03–3.50), early childhood maladjustment (HR 1.92; 95% CI 1.01–3.68), treatment with a depot medication (HR 2.17; 95% CI 1.14–4.11), being known to mental health services (HR 3.44; 95% CI 1.06–11.16), and a psychiatric admission prior to the index admission (HR 2.44; 95% CI 1.08–5.52) were significantly associated with a shorter time to recall. Treatment with clozapine reduced the risk of recall to hospital (HR 0.40; 95% CI 0.20–0.79).

Time to recall can be predicted by a range of factors that are readily available to clinical teams. Further research is required to determine if targeted interventions can modify the likelihood or time to recall for conditionally released forensic patients.

Amelia Jewell, Christopher Cocks, Alexis E. Cullen, Tom Fahy, Kimberlie Dean
European Psychiatry, Volume 49, March 2018