Alongside Ashworth Hospital, Rampton Hospital is one of the three high-security hospitals in England and Wales that provides psychiatric care under ‘conditions of special security’ for people who require it on the basis of their ‘criminal, violent or dangerous propensities’.
The Hospital has around 400 patients, all of whom have been formally admitted under relevant Sections of the Mental Health Act. Most have been admitted from court or on transfer from prison, but a small percentage have been admitted from other NHS facilities because it was felt they needed the intensive care available at Rampton.
The average length of stay for patients is around eight years. Most are then discharged through regional-secure units, or similar medium-secure provision, or by return to the prison system. Some patients however do stay for life.
The Independent Patients’ Advocacy Service was set up in 1996 and offers free, confidential and impartial advice, support and representation to patients, both on a one-to-one basis, and in the groups called ‘home wards’.
All patients have the right to see an advocate and can phone the advocacy service free and in confidence from their ward or elsewhere. Clients bring concerns of all kinds, from issues to do with the catering to detailed clinical, treatment and legal problems. The service is available five days a week.
Our aim is always to work in close cooperation with the Hospital and resolve issues at the lowest level possible.The service works hard to engage the least able patients, and to support groups identified as particularly vulnerable such as women, minority-ethnic groups, and patients with a learning disability. Service staff also facilitate the Patients’ Council, which is the developing voice of all patients across the Hospital.
Patients are involved in staff recruitment at the service; writing and asking their own questions, sitting on the interview panel and contributing to discussions leading to appointment.
Any proposed changes to the service are discussed at the Patients’ Council, and patients also sit on the service’s contract monitoring group.
To find out more about the service, please contact them direct.