Dr Tim McInerny was Honorary Consultant Forensic Psychiatrist at Broadmoor Hospital from 1999 to 2007 where he ran the Young Persons Unit, and Clinical Tutor at the Institute of Psychiatry in London. Since 2007 he has been Consultant Forensic Psychiatrist at the River House Medium and Low Secure Units at the Bethlem Royal Hospital where he is the clinical lead for pre-discharge rehabilitation. His team provides inpatient treatment and care for men aged 18-65, who have mental health problems and a history of serious offending.
His pre-discharge ward is for people who have responded well to treatment and are being prepared for discharge from hospital to the community. He has wide medical legal experience and has given evidence in courts for the prosecution and defence in serious criminal cases. He has provided over 400 expert psychiatric reports to the criminal courts, tribunals, probation, parole boards, the MoJ, Serious Fraud Office and family courts.
He regularly lectures on forensic issues and participates in the training of medical students, expert witnesses, Judges and lawyers. He is the lead for undergraduate and postgraduate medical education within SLAM Forensic Services. He is a Fellow and Honorary Bencher of Gray’s Inn. He has recently been appointed as a medical member of the MHT. Dr McInerny is a strong advocate for using art and creative therapies as an integral part of a patient’s recovery. He has also been visiting psychiatrist to the Falkland Islands for 14 years.
We asked Dr McInerny some quick fire questions to find out more him and his work.
Describe your job in three words? Fascinating, rewarding and compassionate.
What would you like viewers to take away from the documentary? An understanding of the complex and sensitive work being done to protect individuals and the public.
What do you wish other people knew about the work that you do? That we take pride in helping the most disadvantaged and often feared people in the country.
What has surprised you most about working with your patients? Their capacity to bear the knowledge of the harm they have done to others, mostly those they love very much.
What’s the most challenging part of your job? Paperwork!
What’s the best part of your job? Listening to the extraordinary stories.
What was it like being filmed? Rewarding to open up a previously secret world.
What’s your favourite TV show? There are some amazing books around forensic psychiatry such as ‘Enduring Love’ by Ian McEwan, ‘Asylum’ by Patrick McGrath and ‘We Have to Talk About Kevin’ by Lionel Shriver. The films of all these books are good but the novels are far better!
If you weren’t a psychiatrist what would you be doing instead? This is the best job, but I’d like to be an art collector.
Who has inspired you most in your career? My patients.
What advice would you give someone who is thinking about working in mental health services? Read novels about psychiatry (see above), gain voluntary work experience and be inspired by outsider artists.