Arranging a visit

The patient should initially submit a written request to their Patient Care Team who will offer support.

The criteria of the relationship between the patient and the child is then considered and agreed with the Patient Care Team (see below for guidelines). We will seek parental consent and the local authority that covers the area where the child lives will undertake a child in need assessment to seek the child’s wishes and feelings if of an age and understanding.

In order that a thorough assessment can be made, appropriate information is shared between the social services department and high secure services. This information remains confidential.

The application will be considered by a Safeguarding Children’s Panel; if the Panel supports the contact all parties are informed and the person with parental responsibility is notified of the hospital’s child contact booking procedure. If the contact is to take place on leave of absence, the person with parental responsibility is notified that this will be arranged by the Patient Care Team.

Consent for contact to continue is reviewed annually. If the Safeguarding Children’s Panel rejects an application, the patient is informed of the decision and advised of the appeal process.
Approval is continually assessed. The nominated officer reserves the right to refuse to allow a contact to take place if there are concerns about the patient's mental state at the time of the proposed visit.


Relationship criteria

If the patient has any convictions under the Schedule One of the Children and Young Persons Act 1933 or Part I of the Sexual Offences Act 2003 or has been convicted of murder or manslaughter or has been found unfit to plead for any of these offences, he can only apply to have contact with a child if he:

  • is the parent of the child - this includes adoptive and step relations
  • is the grandparent, brother, sister, uncle, aunt or cousin related to that child by blood or half blood by marriage
  • has parental responsibility for the child
  • was cohabiting with the child's parent immediately prior to detention where the child was treated as a member of the household.

If the patient is not convicted of any offence under Schedule One of the Children and Young Persons Act 1933 or Part I of the Sexual Offences Act 2003 or an offence of murder or manslaughter or found unfit to plead for any of these offences then he can apply for child contact outside of the relationship criteria.