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|Location||Carstairs, South Lanarkshire, Scotland|
|Care system||NHS Scotland|
|Lists||Hospitals in Scotland|
The State Hospital (also known as Carstairs Hospital, or simply Carstairs) is a psychiatric hospital providing care and treatment in conditions of high security for around 140 patients from Scotland and Northern Ireland. The hospital accommodates individuals with mental disorder who cannot be cared for in an other setting, on account of dangerous, violent and criminal propensities. The hospital is located near the village of Carstairs, in South Lanarkshire, Scotland.
The hospital is run by the State Hospitals Board for Scotland which is a public body accountable to the First Minister of Scotland through the Scottish Government Health and Social Care Directorates. They are a Special Health Board, part of the NHS Scotland and the only hospital of its kind within Scotland.
A redevelopment was completed in 2012. The Board and the hospital has around 650 staff.
Carstairs Hospital was constructed during 1936–39. Although it was planned and financed as a facility for "mental defectives", it was first used as an Army hospital, during World War II. The Army relinquished control of the hospital in 1948, when it opened as the State Institution for Mental Defectives. On 1 October 1957 there was a large transfer of 90 criminally insane prisoners from the criminal lunatic department at HM Prison Perth to Carstairs, and this new combined unit became the State Mental Hospital.
In 1994 the State Hospitals (Scotland) Act 1994 enabled management of the hospital to be transferred from the Secretary of State for Scotland to NHS Scotland, coming under the control of the State Hospitals Board for Scotland.
The hospital redevelopment was approved by The Scottish Government in September 2007. Construction began in April 2008. The new hospital facilities were officially opened on 26 June 2012.
The hospital has an alarm system that is activated if any patient escapes to alert people in the vicinity, including those in the surrounding town of Lanark, and local villages such as Ravenstruther. This alarm system is based on World War II air-raid sirens, and a two-tone alarm sounds across the whole area in the event of an escape. The system is tested on the third Thursday of every month at 1300hrs when the all clear siren, consisting of three 30 second blasts, sounds.
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.
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