Forensic personality disorder and autism spectrum disorder assessment and liaison service (FPAALS)

The Forensic Personality Disorder and Autism Spectrum Disorder Assessment and Liaison Service (FPAALS) is a specialist assessment and liaison service for people from Merseyside or Cheshire who are considered to experience significant personality disorder or autism spectrum disorder problems and who are also thought to pose a potential for serious harm to others. 

We accept referrals from clinicians about service users with personality disorder or autism spectrum disorder problems, where the clinical team feel there is a case to consider treatment in a secure setting.  

The assessment team brings together a high level of expertise in the assessment of these types of problems. The assessment process comprises clinical interviews, relevant structured assessments, review of documents and discussions with other individuals to develop a diagnostic analysis, and most importantly, a psychologically-informed formulation of the problems and risks to inform treatment plans and risk management approaches.

Where someone is not thought to be in need of specialist treatment within secure settings, the FPAALS also considers whether other specialist intervention or support services in criminal justice or clinical settings may be appropriate. 

For those patients who are admitted to hospital, the FPAALS continues its involvement to provide care pathway oversight in conjunction with the treating clinical team. 

We also accept referrals in relation to patients who are subject to MAPPA level 2 or 3, and in these cases an assessment is undertaken to form the basis of supportive input for, and liaison with, the treating clinical team. 

There is a formal referral form that must be completed prior to the FPAALS undertaking an assessment.  However, we welcome discussions with potential referrers prior to making a formal referral to determine whether it is appropriate to proceed with a full referral or whether alternative options should be considered.  The FPAALS delivers training in the forensic aspects of personality disorder and autism spectrum disorder and the associated health and criminal justice pathways.

If you are a clinician who wishes to find out more information about the service or who is considering making a referral, please contact Dr Taj Nathan (taj.nathan@merseycare.nhs.uk).”