Thirty-nine patients at Carstairs high-security hospital have applied to Scotland’s Mental Health Tribunal to be detained in less secure settings.
The patients believe that, under new measures introduced in the Mental Health (Care and Treatment) (Scotland) Act 2003, they are eligible to be held in a medium-secure facility rather than in the country’s only maximum security hospital.
The figures, provided by the tribunal this week, show that 15 patients applied in May when the measures came into force, with the rate slowing over the summer. So far this month, three patients have applied.
Carstairs holds 209 patients. Of these, 141 are being detained compulsorily. Tribunal hearings for the patients are due to begin later this year.
Patients could take legal action if the tribunal rules they are ready for transfer but health boards fail to act.
However, there is a shortage of medium-secure units in Scotland.