Carstairs patients seek lower security

The Scottish executive has confirmed that more than 30 patients at the high security Carstairs psychiatric hospital have applied to be transferred to less secure settings.

Scottish deputy health minister Lewis MacDonald made the announcement while chairing the annual review of the Lanarkshire-based state hospital last week.

Carstairs patients, many of whom have committed crimes, have been eligible to appeal against their security status since May when the Scottish Mental Health Tribunal came into existence.

Hearings are scheduled throughout the autumn.

Donald Lyons, director of watchdog the Mental Welfare Commission for Scotland, said some of those appealing had been assessed as eligible for transfer to medium-secure units but this had been delayed due to a lack of such facilities.

However, MacDonald said new units planned for Glasgow and Perth meant the number of appeals would be “manageable”.

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