Forensic Unit

In January 1999, the Scottish Executive (now Scottish Government) announced plans to develop and improve services for people with mental illness. These included proposals to develop a network of new medium secure care units across Scotland to bridge the gap that exists between high security inpatient facilities, such as those provided by the State Hospital at Carstairs, and low security inpatient facilities such as those that already existed at Royal Edinburgh Hospital and other psychiatric hospitals.

The Mental Health (Care and Treatment) (Scotland) Act 2003 also places a requirement on NHS Boards to ensure that patients with a mental illness are able to be treated in facilities which meet their needs, at the appropriate level of security that they require.

A medium secure care unit is a specialist type of mental health hospital. It is not a prison, and not all patients have been convicted of criminal offences. It provides care for the small number of patients with mental illnesses who require to be treated in a more secure environment than a general or low security mental health hospital can provide, but who do not require high security care. The Orchard Clinic represents improved paient care for this group of patients, and has been operational since 2001.

Last Reviewed: 01/06/2011