The State Hospital

The State Hospital, Carstairs, Lanark ML11 8RP
Phone: 01555 840293 Fax: 01555 840024 email:

Latest News / Public Notices

Welcome and Overview

‘Although The State Hospital shares the same values, aims and challenges as the rest of the NHS in Scotland, it is unique because it has the dual responsibility of caring for very ill, detained patients as well as protecting them, the public and staff from harm.’

In 1994 legislation went through Parliament to bring The State Hospital legally into the National Health Service in Scotland as a Special Health Board - The State Hospitals Board for Scotland - accountable to Scottish Ministers through the Scottish Government.

The State Hospital is one of four high secure hospitals in the UK. It is a national service for Scotland and Northern Ireland and one part of the pathway of care that should be available for those with secure care needs.

Approximately 700 staff are employed by the Board to provide high secure forensic mental health services for up to 140 patients.

The purpose is both to provide care and treatment of the highest standards and to ensure public safety.

The State Hospital has four strategic aims: improving physical health; effective use of resources; pathways for access, treatment and transfer; and improving the quality of patient care and drives forward the quality improvement agenda in line with the NHSScotland Healthcare Quality Strategy.

The main aim is to rehabilitate patients, ensuring safe transfer to appropriate lower levels of security.

The State Hospital is located in Lanarkshire in central Scotland, midway between the cities of Edinburgh and Glasgow.

The Hospital has been rebuilt to ensure patients are treated in accommodation appropriate to their needs and in an environment that supports rehabilitation.

Partnership working with South Lanarkshire Council is well established and provides social work services for patients and their families in addition to liaising with patients’ designated Mental Health Officers (MHOs) across the country.

Given that the patients do not have access to other services or communities, the Hospital addresses all of their needs (e.g. therapeutic, vocational, social and physical wellbeing) via a range of therapeutic, educational, diversional and recreational services including a Health Centre.

The Forensic Mental Health Services Managed Care Network (Forensic Network) is hosted by The State Hospital.

Well developed relationships exist with the Mental Health Tribunal Service for Scotland and the Mental Welfare Commission for Scotland, and good partnership working is in place across the Forensic Network to ensure these patients are transferred as required.

The State Hospital is a totally smoke free environment.


Modernising Service Delivery

'Modernisation has made a tremendous difference to the Hospital's patients, services and quality of care.'

Photo: Ward area ( hub and cluster) - July 2011

2012/13 will be remembered as an important year in the Hospital’s history with the Official Opening of the new State Hospital in June 2012 and a Royal Visit in OcPhoto: State Hospital Front Entrancetober 2012.

Significant rebuild needed to take place due to the poor physical condition of the estate and obligations to meet statutory requirements thus ensuring patients were treated in accommodation appropriate to their needs, and in an
environment that supported their rehabilitation.

The Full Business Case for the Redevelopment of The State Hospital was approved by the Scottish Government in 2007.

Contract - Skanska (2008)

Full Business Case for the Re-development of the Hospital (September 2007)

Outline Business Case (May 2006)

Initial Agreement (May 2003)

Reconfiguration of the site has enabled the Hospital to maximise its desired service model based on multi-disciplinary Clinical Teams organised around patient care and need. Workforce plans have been developed based on this model, identifying future skill requirements for each team.

A report on the Evaluation of Multi-Disciplinary Team (MDT) Working took place in March 2013.

Construction commenced in 2008 entailing the build of 19,000m2 of new wards and facilities, as well as the refurbishment of a further 1,500m2. The operation of the Hospital continued as normal during the construction period.

Phase I of the redevelopment was completed in 2009/10 with the commissioning of the Skye Centre (for patient therapies and activities including a Primary Care Health Centre) and the Essential Services buildings.
Phase 2 saw construction of the wards (hubs and clusters), Family Centre and Reception buildings all taking shape in 2010/11 with patients and staff moving into the new buildings in September 2011.

In 2011/12 focus concentrated on the de-commissioning and demolition of old buildings as well as the construction of new car parking facilities and final landscaping.

Nicola SturgeonOfficial Opening
On 26 June 2012 the Official Opening of the new State Hospital took place. Nicola Sturgeon, Deputy First Minister of Scotland, Cabinet Secretary for Health, Wellbeing and Cities Strategy unveiled a plaque marking the end of the project to rebuild The State Hospital as a modern fit for purpose high secure Hospital.

The new State Hospital cares for up to 140 patients, who require specialist care that matches individual needs, in
conditions of maximum security: 12 specifically for patients with a learning disability. The new Hospital sees a complete transformation of the site. Patients are now benefiting from the most up-to-date treatments, equipment and technology,delivered by high quality staff in modern, fit-for-purpose

The State Hospital continues to be the national resource operating in a high secure environment and is one part of the pathway of care that is available for those with secure care needs. The rebuild supports the national drive to provide a modern service which meets the needs of patients, protects staff and the public, and enables patients to move on from The State Hospital to more suitable local care as and when appropriate.

Royal VisitRoyal Visit
On 9 October 2012, Her Royal Highness, The Princess Royal, visited The State Hospital to celebrate the recent opening of the newly redeveloped site. The Lord Lieutenant introduced Her Royal Highness to the gathering dignitaries
including the Provost of South Lanarkshire, local MP and MSP, and members of The State Hospital’s Board.

Accompanied by Terry Currie, Chair and Andreana Adamson, Chief Executive the tour of the new facilities commenced. Her Royal Highness was shown around the new Reception and Security Control Room, the Skye Centre for patient therapy and activity where she was formally introduced to members of the Board and some staff. She then visited individual patient activity centres and met with a number of patients who showcased their activity centre work. Her Royal Highness also visited the Health Centre that meets the primary healthcare needs of patients.

On returning to the Skye Centre Atrium, Her Royal Highness was invited to say a few words and to unveil a plaque to record the prestigious occasion. The tour continued with a visit to one of the Hospital’s four hubs and clusters (ward areas) where Her Royal Highness met with more staff and patients and was shown around the facilities.

Prior to departing the Hospital for her next engagement, Her Royal Highness visited the Family Centre for child visiting where she was presented with a posy of flowers.


A Smoke Free Environment

The State Hospital is a comprehensive smoke free environment. See the Hospital's Case Study (February 2012) which provides an account of the journey undertaken to become smoke free.



Photo: Old Aviary - now demolishedSecurity and the safety of patients, staff and the public always play a central role in the Hospital’s activities.

The secure environment at the Hospital is provided via physical, procedural and relational security. The physical security of the Hospital continues to be a major focus of attention, requiring regular review and investment.

Photo: Old Patients' Learning Centre - now demolishedComprehensive contingency arrangements remain appropriate and relevant reflecting the potentially serious nature of emergency situations which could arise within the State Hospital environment. The Hospital has fully developed these arrangements in partnership with other agencies. These are rigorously tested, monitored and reviewed on a recurring basis.

The State Hospital and your Local Siren (August 2003)



See Environmental Information


Forensic Network

The State Hospital is one part of the pathway of care that should be available for those with secure care needs. There is a national drive to provide a modern service which meets the needs of patients, protects staff and the public, and enables patients to move on from The State Hospital to more appropriate local care as they recover from their illness.

The Forensic Network is led by the Hospital’s Chief Executive, Andreana Adamson. It was established in 2003 to oversee the development of forensic services across the country; to develop systems to improve patient pathways and information sharing; and to establish training, education and research in the field of forensic mental health.

The Forensic Network is multi-agency and multi-disciplinary in its approach, with strong links with the Scottish Prison Service, Social Work Services, Police and Criminal Justice Agencies.

The State Hospital’s contribution to the Forensic Network continues to develop and embed across forensic services in all areas. There is active representation on all regional planning groups and specific work continues to develop the capacity and capability of staff in the delivery of specialist

Forensic Mental Health Services Managed Care Network (link to Website)



Photo - Investing in Volunteers CertificateThe Hospital has achieved a number of major awards:

  • The Eat Safe Award for Excellence in Food Hygiene.

  • The Healthy Living Award for Promoting Healthy Eating.

  • The Health Facilities Scotland's, Innovations Award and "The Paul Taylor" overall winner award.

  • The Investing in Volunteers (IiV) quality mark.

  • The Healthy Working Lives prestigious Gold Award and the Mental Health & Wellbeing Commendation Award.



All State Hospital Fact Sheets A review and update of these Fact Sheets, and all other State Hospital publications, is currently underway in light of the rebuild (new Hospital buildings) and new Clinical Model (way of working).

The national 'Choice and Medication' Website provides comprehensive information and advice on mental health conditions, treatment and medication.

Corporate Governance Documentation

State Hospital Location Map / directions (June 2012)

NHSScotland Mental Health Strategy 2012/15 (August 2012)

NHSScotland - The 2020 Vision and Strategic Narrative for Scotland: Route Map to the 2020 Vision for Health and Social Care and Achieving Sustainable Quality in Scotland’s Healthcare: A ’20:20’ Vision (September 2011)

NHSScotland Healthcare Quality Strategy (May 2010)

The State Hospital: Putting Quality at the heart of everything we do! (June 2010). This staff bulletin details the Hospital's Quality Commitments and Quality Ambitions.



Please take a few minutes to tell us what you think of our new website.