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Training School 2017 – Patient and Carer Involvement and Participation in Long Term Forensic Care

17 May, 2017 - 19 May, 2017

What is the training school about?

The next upcoming training school for the IS1302 COST Action will primarily focus on patient and carer participation and involvement in long term forensic psychiatric care and how this can be realized without compromising risk factors.

In almost every country, long term forensic care is a necessary pathway. It is well understood that rehabilitating forensic patients is a process that takes time. The danger on the other hand is that forensic patients can get stuck in the system. Several causes of this ‘side effect’ can be determined: patient characteristics, quality of treatment or even the quality and availability of facilities with a lower level of security and/or aftercare, lack of patient involvement, etc. This is wat COST Action IS1302 focuses on.

Establishing the Risk Needs Responsivity principles is a must in forensic psychiatry. In Long Term Forensic Care, where the Risk and Needs can be countered in part by context, responsivity becomes fundamentally important. With a focus on Quality of Life, patient and carer participation and involvement should take into account responsivity factors. The focus of this training school will be patient participation, involvement of patients in long term care and how this can be realized without compromising risk factors.


 Photo credit: Marius Badstuber

Patient participation as a concept will be subject to debate. What does patient participation and involvement mean in a forensic setting? The mechanisms behind patient participation will be analysed. The theory of ‘recovery’ and the ‘Good Lives Model’ approach will be presented and connected to the aim of this training school; both models will be integrated in the Risk Needs Responsivity-principles of forensic psychiatric care. Why is patient participation so important in Long Term Forensic Care? Different definitions of patient participation will be reviewed. Different examples and good practices will be collected and presented. A comprehensive proposition of patient participation and involvement will be suggested.

Different countries will have different experiences in involving their forensic patients in (long term) treatment and care. Based on participants’ experiences, a guided discussion will result in specific issues, opportunities, best practices, legislation and threats on the patient’s participation and involvement.

The trainees will need to present the specific situation in their countries based on experiences in their settings. The trainees are expected to have enough knowledge about the forensic system in their own country, the stakeholders involved in the forensic treatment process as well as jurisdictions and legal frameworks regarding the possibilities to progress within the system and/or to aftercare.

After the presentations and comparisons of the different country specific experiences, a visit to a new facility in Ghent will be undertaken. The focus of this excursion is to see in real time how a high security facility, which provides forensic treatment to patients who need a high secure environment, provide in patient participation and involvement of the patients in a setting.

Based upon the experiences of the different member countries and the visit to FPC Ghent, first conclusions will be drawn. General issues (transnational) will be identified and further discussed. The trainees will learn from the opportunities and strength of other countries and gain insight in best practices. This leads up to the writing of a patient participation manifest as outcome of the training school.

It’s important for the trainees to understand that this training school is based on the interaction between the trainees; the combination and integration of the knowledge of every trainee regarding their national system should result in recommendations on best practice. Part of the training school includes writing blocks in order to prepare a paper with recommendations on best practice in treatment and aftercare. The guided discussion will form the basis of this paper.

Experts from EU countries will share their experiences on patient involvement and the challenges associated with it. The three day training school will be held between 17-19 May 2017 and participants can choose to soak into the Belgian culture over the following weekend.


What is the aim of the training school?

This Training School is being organized to increase the knowledge on patient and carer involvement of forensic psychiatric patients. The aim is gain insight in others countries’ experiences on patient participation and work out a general guideline for ‘patient participation in long term forensic care’. The result of the training school will thus be a first draft of a manifest on recommendation of patient participation and involvement. All the trainees (one for every country present during the training school) will be a co-author.


What is the programme like?

The programme involves lectures, videos, discussions anddebates in small groups. The speakers are international experts in the field of forensic psychiatry and mental health and bring with them a wealth of experience (speakers list).

Part of the training school includes writing blocks in order to prepare a paper with recommendations on patient involvement. The guided discussion and analysis of the SWOT will form the basis of this paper. The first task of the trainers is to support this process of exchanging and integrating knowledge.

Please find here a time-table for the 3 day programme.

English will be the official language of the training school although some of the speakers speak other European languages.


Number of hours:

The training school runs for at least 8 hours every day; and consists of 27 hours direct contact, comprising of workshop- type training and lectures as well as field trips to the High Security Facility FPC Gent and the Medium Security Facility OPZC Rekem.

Please note, that participants of the training school will be expected to deliver a short presentation (max 5 min, poster or slide show) on patient involvement in their own country, to serve as basis for discussions. Participants are asked to gather important information and documents about patient participation and – involvement in their own country. If data are available it would be helpful if these data could be used during the training.

It is envisaged that participants will also undertake independent self-directed study.



What is needed to integrate patient involvement and participation in psychiatric forensic care?

Participants are asked to relate the lectures and workshops in the formulation of recommendations on best practice in terms of patient participation and involvement.

Participants are asked to gather important information and documents about patient participation and – involvement in their own country.  If data are available, it would be helpful if these data could be used during the training.


Mode of Assessment:

Participants are asked to relate the lectures and workshops and to translate their knowledge into recommendations on best practice in terms of patient participation and patient involvement.


When is the event happening?

17-19 May 2017


Where is the event happening?

Department of Health Care

Victor Hortaplein 4

1000 Brussels


Who can apply?

Professionals, students, scholars and practitioners who are interested in the topic are invited to join the training school. There are 30-35 places available on a first come first serve basis. Eight of the participants will receive a grant of the EU-COST programme.



There are 30 – 35 places available on a first come first serve basis. You can express your interest to participate by sending an email together with your CV to: isch1302@gmail.com

COST is an intergovernmental framework for European Cooperation in Science and Technology, allowing the coordination of nationally-funded research on a European level. In this light the COST Action IS1302 will allow for the reimbursement of 8 participants in the form of a fixed grant.

In order to apply for funding of the COST Action IS1302, your email needs to state clearly that you apply for funding and should also include a CV and motivation letter. An independent commission will decide upon the 8 participants who will receive reimbursement. The maximal amount of reimbursement will be €480.

The last registration date is May 10th 2017.

Please note that your registration is not official until you receive a confirmation mail from COST Action IS1302.



Our recommended hotels are within a few minutes of walking distance to the training venue: Department of Health Care, Victor Hortaplein 4, 1000 Brussels

- Hotel Be Manos: 120€ per night incl. breakfast (and wellness center): 650m to venue


Be Manos registration form

-  Hotel Accor: 119 € per night (not incl. breakfast): 500m to venue


Accor registration form



The hotels listed above and the venue are located in the centre of Brussels, near railway station Brussels Midi (Brussel Zuid) (This station is a stop for Thalys, Eurostar, TGV)

Brussels Airport (Zaventem): the easiest way to get from the airport to the venue/hotels is to take the train tot Brussels Midi (Brussel Zuid).  A one way ticket costs 8,80€.

Brussels South Airport (Charleroi): take a bus to the railway station of Charleroi.  At the railway station, take the train direction Antwerp (Antwerpen Centraal).  This will take about 1h40.

If you travel by car, free parking is possible at level -6 at the Q-park betweek Midi station and Eurostation building.  Please keep your ticket aafter the meeting and validate it at the Eurostation building reception.

Social events (open for all participants):

 The Local Organisers plan on organising some social, cultural events; subscribing can be done upon arrival Wednesday May 17th.


Organisers & contact: 

The organisation of this Training School is a cooperation between the Belgian representatives of the COST IS1302 Action:

Kevin Pesout (OPZC Rekem), Stefaan de Smet (Hogeschool Gent) & Thierry Pham (Faculté de Psychologie et des Sciences de l’éducation, UMons)

In case you have additional questions, please contact us:

kevin.pesout@opzcrekem.be or via +32 491 96 22 23.



EU-COST IS1302 – Towards an EU research framework on forensic psychiatric care


17 May, 2017
19 May, 2017
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Departement Volksgezondheid – Federale Overheid
Victor Hortaplein 40
Brussels, Belgium
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