The Thames Valley Offender Personality Disorder Pathway (OPDP) Programme

The programme is jointly commissioned and managed by NHS and Her Majesty’s Prison and Probation Service (HMPPS) across the three counties in the Thames Valley (Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire).

We work to identify the individuals within the Criminal Justice System where there are indicators that their psychological difficulties are closely related to their offending behaviour and risk.

Our aims

We aim to:

  • Provide a pathway of psychologically informed services for the individuals within personality difficulties linked to their offending
  • Improve service users’ access to and progression through services
  • Improve staff and service users’ understanding of behaviour, risk factors and effective management strategies
  • Improve competence and confidence of HMPPS staff working with service users who are likely to have a Personality Disorder

Our approach

OPDP employs a formulation-based approach. The approach builds on a biopsychosocial understanding of the development of personality disorder. Evidence suggests that personality disorder is a result of the interaction of biological (genetic) vulnerabilities, early experience with significant others, and social factors. This understanding informs the development of the case formulation, leading to a better understanding of the person and their behaviour, resulting in a pathway plan reflecting need and the required response.

Core service

In the community, all National Probation Service Local Delivery Units have access to core OPD service consisting of:

  • Early identification – a structured approach to identifying supervised individuals who meet the service criteria as near to the beginning of their sentence as possible
  • Workforce development – bespoke local training to increase the confidence and competence of staff working with this population
  • Case consultation – generally, a responsive service to support staff managing someone with complex needs. Usually, this will lead to a formulation
  • Case formulation
  • Joint casework – time limited, planned joint work between the health service provider, the Offender Manager and the offender

Programme contacts

Contact Role
OPDP.ThamesValley@justice.gov.uk General contact
Jason.Jones@oxfordhealth.nhs.uk Consultant Clinical and Forensic Psychologist, Clinical Lead
Sacha.Lawrence@justice.gov.uk Counselling Psychologist, Oxfordshire
Katherine.McGrath@oxfordhealth.nhs.uk Clinical Psychologist, Aylesbury
Julia.Langley@oxfordhealth.nhs.uk Forensic Psychologist in training, Milton Keynes LDU
Duncan.Hume@justice.gov.uk Senior Probation Officer, Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire
Stephanie.Hunter@justice.gov.uk Clinical Psychologist, East Berkshire
Penny.McCutcheon@justice.gov.uk Senior Probation Officer, Berkshire
Olga.Jelkina@justice.gov.uk Assistant Psychologist
Joe.Leonard@justice.gov.uk Assistant Psychologist

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Page last reviewed: 10 June, 2020