Forensic Personality Disorder Service (FPDS)

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The Forensic Personality Disorder Service (FPDS; formerly 'Pathfinder') is a specialised NHS service for people with personality difficulties who pose a high risk of harm to others and are in secure hospital or are at risk of secure admission.

Our aim is to ensure that service users are cared for in the least restrictive environment, receive evidence-based care and are supported with an appropriate pathway. 

We offer:

  • Time-limited indirect work, which might include case consultation, training, reflective practice or supervision for teams relating to a specific patient.

  • Care-pathway management, which includes direct clinical work with the patient and their teams throughout their admission and gatekeeping assessments for changes in level of security.

Our team

We are a multi-disciplinary team of forensic mental health professionals including Psychology, Psychiatry, Occupational Therapy, Social Work, Arts Psychotherapy and Nursing, with a specialist focus on personality disorder in secure settings.

Tiered approach

A tiered approach is used to offer support at different levels:

  • Tier 1: Signposting and liaison.

  • Tier 2: Indirect work involving consultation, training, reflective practice and supervision to support the staff team.

  • Tier 3: Direct work involving gatekeeping assessments into secure care, specialist assessment, care pathway management and intervention.


To be eligible, a patient must meet the following criteria:

  • A probable diagnosis of personality disorder which is considered to be the primary mental health issue. We may assist teams to clarify diagnosis where there is particular complexity and/or diagnostic uncertainty.

  • Currently in secure care or at risk of an admission.

  • From the following CCG areas: BNSSG, BSW, Somerset or Gloucestershire .

  • A history of serious harm to others and presenting with on-going risks to others.

If you would like to discuss a potential referral or are unsure if this service is the right choice, please contact our team via email or telephone so we can advise you further and signpost you to the appropriate service.


Professionals can download a copy of our referral form by clicking the link provided under the 'Documents' heading on the left of this page. Once the form is completed please send it to and this will be discussed at our weekly referrals meeting on a Thursday afternoon.  If you are unsure whether a referral is appropriate then we would be happy to offer initial advice by phone.

All informal enquiries are responded to within one working day to determine or clarify what level of support is most appropriate. 

Referral to secure services:

One of our roles is to gatekeep admissions to secure services for patients with a personality disorder on behalf of the South West Provider Collaborative. If you would like to make a referral for admission this will need to be done centrally by the Cambio online system ( You do not need to complete our referral form as well. If you require assistance with logging in or completing a referral please contact us.


We can be contacted Monday to Friday through the following channels:

Email:                     Tel: 0117 3784600

Post: Forensic Personality Disorder Service, Bybrook Lodge, Blackberry Hill Hospital, Manor Road, Fishponds, Bristol, BS16 2EW

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