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New Rowanbank Mental Health Hospital - Most Modern in Country

June 22, 2007 3:51 PM

Rowanbank's design and layout incorporates many of the latest features and technology used in other parts of the country.
The £19 million 74-bed clinic will begin admitting patients next month and will be fully operational by the end of 2008.
The completion of the new state-of-the-art Rowanbank Clinic, on the Stobhill Hospital site, marks a significant improvement in the range of specialist mental health services available in the West of Scotland.
Building work on the country’s most modern medium secure care mental health hospital is now complete.

Dr Linda Watt, Medical Director of NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde’s Mental Health Partnership, said:

"These patients require treatment in a more secure environment than a general or low security hospital but do not require high security care such as that provided by the State Hospital at Carstairs.

"Rowanbank will treat patients who have a history of serious mental illness and will have been assessed as a risk or potential risk to others.

"By learning from this experience and taking on board feedback from local staff and patients, we now have one of the most modern, innovative secure care centres in the country.

”Before finalising the design, staff visited similar centres in other parts of the UK to look at best practice, identify what layout works well and explore the latest technology available.

Dr Watt explained:

“Medium secure care centres will improve public safety as patients who have undergone treatment and rehabilitation are less likely to become ill again and re-offend after they are discharged.” 
"A number of patients may be transferred from the State Hospital, but this will only happen when it is clear that their illness is stable.

"It is important to stress that Rowanbank is not a mini Carstairs. Any patients who are considered to pose a serious risk and require to be cared for in a high security setting will continue to be admitted to the State Hospital.

“Rowanbank Clinic is not a prison and while some patients will have committed an offence, a number of patients will be admitted directly from the community.

Plans to develop a separate West of Scotland medium secure care facility at Dykebar Hospital have been postponed pending the outcome of a review of mental health services across Clyde.

In the meantime, Rowanbank will provide medium secure care services for the West of Scotland on an interim basis, ensuring that other Boards are able to comply with the new Mental Health Act.

Features include a single point of entry into the main building, with CCTV cameras and airport style security checks for anyone entering and leaving the building.
Many of the security features have been built into the fabric of the building to make sure they are not obvious or intrusive to the surrounding area.
The design and layout of the clinic have been carefully planned to ensure it is as safe and secure as possible.

Donald Lyons, Director of the Mental Welfare Commission for Scotland - an independent organisation which works to safeguard the rights and welfare of people with a mental illness, said:
In addition, none of the areas used by patients have any external windows or doors and instead face onto a high-walled internal courtyard which has avoided the need for external perimeter walls or fences.

"A very small number of people with mental health problems need secure care. Rowanbank will help to ensure that such people get the right level of security, at the right time, as part of their overall care and treatment.”

Unlike other mental health hospitals where the average length of stay is around six weeks, patients at Rowanbank Clinic will normally spend around three years undergoing gradual treatment and rehabilitation before they are transferred to another hospital or discharged.

Patients will have access to a range of general health services along with specialist mental health services.

It is also vital to make sure patients have the practical and social skills to help them cope after they are discharged and this very much forms part of their treatment programme.

Rowanbank is therefore equipped with a number of recreational and therapeutic facilities including an IT learning centre, sports hall, gym, five a side football pitch, therapy kitchen and access to a number of arts and crafts and gardening projects.

Professor Sir John Arbuthnott, Chair of NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, said:

"This new facility will also create bright, modern and attractive surroundings which will aid the recovery of patients and provide a good working environment for staff.”

"We have a duty to care for all patients and it is vital that individuals who may be a risk to themselves or others have access to the specialist care and treatment they require.

Martin Montgomery, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde’s General Manager for Forensic Mental Health Services said:

"This could include job opportunities, fund-raising, volunteering or contributing to local community events and activities.”

“We also want to explore ways in which Rowanbank Clinic can make a positive contribution to the local community.

"We are therefore committed to working with the local community to build up a relationship and challenge some of the common myths and misconceptions surrounding secure care services.

“We recognise that some local people are concerned about the development of the new Clinic.

When Rowanbank is fully operational it will employ more than 300 staff. The clinic will employ mental health staff as well as a wide range of support staff including nursing assistants, porters, catering assistants - many of these new frontline posts are expected to be filled by local people.

Steven Bell from the Circles Advocacy Project - a voluntary organisation which independently supports patients undergoing treatment in mental health secure care centres - said:

"It is encouraging to see much-needed investment being made to develop new purpose-built mental health service facilities which will deliver 21st century care."

"Rowanbank Clinic is a symbol of a new vision for mental health care and promises to be the benchmark of excellence for future secure care centres.


For further information contact NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde Press Office on 0141 201 4429. a detailed media briefing on the Rowanbank Clinic please visit of the new clinic are also available via

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Last Updated: 06 February 2015