‘Are patients with access to smart phones able to join dating sites and explore other social media?’
Here at Forest Lodge patients have all got access to smart phones, which are not monitored. They do sign a contract prior to using this to the effect that they would not be using it for pornographic material in the communal areas, to photograph/video any other patients or staff. Forest Lodge


If they already have access to smart phones, there is no practical way to prevent it. The decision to grant access must take into account that they can access any and all legal (and sometime illegal) websites online. This can’t be an afterthought once granted. Dating sites aren’t illegal. They could buy the Guardian and use a lonely hearts column (if one still exists) to the same end. The issue is what they do once they have ‘met’ someone. The question for me is still when it is appropriate to have access to them. Once they have unescorted leave, we are making a judgement that they are going act safely (they could just as easily drop into a local library and access such sites) and it seems reasonable that they have access to any and all functions of a smartphone. Whether that is while they are physically on the ward is debatable. I err on the side of not. We have an increasing number of stalkers as in-patients, which includes stalking by social media. We also have plenty who already borrow non-smartphones from one another. The simple agreement of having a phone isn’t the only issue to consider in whether they can used safely (including dating and social media sites). Newton Lodge


We’re low secure at Amber some of our guys have unsupervised smartphone access they have care plans for these and they have to request what apps sites they want to access and who they want to add as friends/follow etc. None of our guys have access to dating sites however some do have some social media mainly facebook. we have a workbook we made that they work through to inform them about how to use social media safely and the mdt review this when considering patients requests. Amber Lodge