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Reflections on introducing a Leavers’ Preparation Group in an intellectual disability secure service
Journal of Intellectual Disabilities and Offending Behaviour  (IF),  Pub Date : 2018-06-11, DOI: 10.1108/jidob-12-2017-0026
Gareth Hickman, Nicola Booth, Thuy Hoang

The purpose of this paper is to report on the introduction of a Leavers’ Preparation Group in an Intellectual Disability (ID) Secure Service. In the context of reductions in ID inpatient beds and reductions in restrictive practices, discharge and transfers out of hospital settings are increasing. The current group was established to provide support and preparation for service users as they approach discharge/transfer from hospital. The current paper provides example outcome data and reflects on the experience and learning points in delivering such interventions in secure contexts.,The Leavers’ Preparation Group is an eight-session preparatory, recovery focussed group intervention focussing on supporting service users as they approach discharge/transfer to lower levels of security. The intervention has a multi-disciplinary approach, focussing on psychosocial aspects of current and future risk reduction.,Overwhelmingly service users reported that they experienced the group as positive and beneficial. Personal reflections of the authors are offered on service user attitudes to discharge/transfer, the contextual impact of restrictive systems and the benefits of this type of group intervention.,This paper reports on clinical practice, which involves multi-disciplinary intervention, co-production with service users and relevant stakeholders, and provides a description of the group intervention. It also offers critical reflection on tensions in this area of service provision, such as control and choice, freedom and responsibility, limitations and restrictions and power imbalances.