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Personality disorder services in England: findings from a national survey

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  02 January 2018

Oliver Dale*
West London Mental Health Trust, London, UK
Faisil Sethi
South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust, London, UK
Clive Stanton
University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia
Sacha Evans
Central and North West London NHS Foundation Trust, London, UK
Kirsten Barnicot
Imperial College London, UK
Rosemary Sedgwick
South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust, London, UK
Steve Goldsack
Medway Engagement Group and Network (MEGAN) CIC, Chatham, UK
Monica Doran
West London Mental Health Trust, London, UK
Lucinda Shoolbred
West London Mental Health Trust, London, UK
Chiara Samele
Informed Thinking, London, UK
Norman Urquia
Informed Thinking, London, UK
Rex Haigh
Berkshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, UK
Paul Moran
University of Bristol, Bristol, UK
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Aims and method

We aimed to evaluate the availability and nature of services for people affected by personality disorder in England by conducting a survey of English National Health Service (NHS) mental health trusts and independent organisations.


In England, 84% of organisations reported having at least one dedicated personality disorder service. This represents a fivefold increase compared with a 2002 survey. However, only 55% of organisations reported that patients had equal access across localities to these dedicated services. Dedicated services commonly had good levels of service use and carer involvement, and engagement in education, research and training. However, a wider multidisciplinary team and a greater number of biopsychosocial interventions were available through generic services.

Clinical implications

There has been a substantial increase in service provision for people affected by personality disorder, but continued variability in the availability of services is apparent and it remains unclear whether quality of care has improved.

Original Papers
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This is an open-access article published by the Royal College of Psychiatrists and distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Copyright © 2017 The Authors


Declaration of interest



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