An informative insight into life at Broadmoor Hospital is given in a recently published book written by both an insider and a professional.

Tony Black worked at the hospital between 1959 and 1986 and his book — Broadmoor Interacts — is an historical account of the Crowthorne hospital between 1953 and the 1983 Mental Health Act.

Professor Nigel Walker, who wrote the forward to the book, claims Mr Black's understanding of both psychiatry and management gave him an insight into what was going wrong — but also what was going right.

The book traces the evolution of the concept of mentally disordered offenders and the appropriateness of their accommodation.

It also provides an insight into the nature of their disorders and treatment strategies, and, according to Mr Black, it should be compulsory reading for those contemplating work in a special hospital, secure psychiatric unit or rehabilitation service outside hospital.

Mr Black said Broadmoor "by and large, has not enjoyed a good press".

He added: "Many colleagues and friends have urged me to compile this history and there are many in the area who would probably be interested to know there is now a comprehensive up-to-date account of the work and purpose of the institution."

The book can be ordered from Barry Rose Law Publishers Ltd, East Row, Little London, Chichester, West Sussex PO19 1PG or by calling (01243) 783637 and a copy is also available at Crowthorne Library.