Secure pathways for women in the UK: lessons from the women’s enhanced medium secure services (WEMSS) pilots

Dawn Edge, Tammi Walker, Rachel Meacock, Hannah Wilson, Louisa McNair, Jenny Shaw, Kerry Gutridge, Heather Mitchell, Louise Robinson, Jane Senior, Matthew Sutton, Kathryn Abel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


Women’s enhanced medium secure services (WEMSS) is a model of care aimed at providing a more appropriate level of security for women and, in so doing, reducing the number of women in high secure psychiatric services. In 2007, three Department of Health commissioned WEMSS pilots became operational. This study compared the clinical outcomes of women in WEMSS with control women in six standard medium secure services and one high secure service matched on key clinical and risk characteristics, in order to examine their pathways of care. Our findings confirm that the WEMSS pilots were successful in transitioning women from high secure services who had previously been thought unsuitable for medium secure services. However, WEMSS showed no additional clinical benefit, suggesting that these women could be cared for equally well within standard medium secure services. We make recommendations about WEMSS and the future shape of women’s secure care in England.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)206-225
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Forensic Psychiatry and Psychology
Issue number2
Early online date1 Nov 2016
Publication statusPublished - 2017
Externally publishedYes


Dive into the research topics of 'Secure pathways for women in the UK: lessons from the women’s enhanced medium secure services (WEMSS) pilots'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this