The State Hospital Board for Scotland (SL)

The State Hospital is a national resource which provide special security for mentally disordered offenders. The catchment area we cover is the whole of Scotland and Northern Ireland, which makes travelling difficult for some of the relatives. Some patients have no visitors at all and given that the length of stay (on average) is 6.5 years, this can have a significant impact on the patients.

Current opportunities

The State Hospital offers a person centred approach to visiting where every effort is made to accommodate the individual needs of visitors. Maintaining relationships with family and friends is an important part of the patient's recovery journey. The importance of effectively engaging with patients, their families and carers is recognised. In particular, carers and Named Persons are actively encouraged to meaningfully contribute to patient care and treatment planning. Changes made to visiting sessions means that those utilising public transport are finding it more difficult to link in with these visit sessions. This role will require the volunteer to use their own vehicle for pre-bookable travel for approved patient visitors and volunteers between Biggar or Lanark and the Hospital and return after their visit. The State Hospital is one of four high secure hospitals in the UK. Located in South Lanarkshire, in central Scotland, it is a national service for patients in Scotland and Northern Ireland. The principal aim is to rehabilitate patients, ensuring safe transfer to appropriate lower levels of security. The Hospital recognises the important and valuable contribution made by volunteers to enrich the quality of everyday life for patients. Pre approved patient visitors are able to visit any day. Visit sessions usually last 1 hour and meetings can last 2 hours. Volunteer drivers would be expected to collect the visitor and return them after the visit/meeting. Volunteer drivers can also combine this role with that of Volunteer Visitor and a visit can be arranged during the times they are volunteering to maximize their input.

To support the provision of sports & fitness activities. The Skye Centre Sports & Fitness Department provides a wide range of activities for patients including football, volleyball, general fitness sessions, inter-team competitions, fitness assessments & fitness advice. Patients participate in team or individual activities and are encouraged and supported to try new activities, work as a team and build confidence in their own abilities. The volunteer will provide input with the team of staff facilitating these activities.

The State Hospital is keen to identify opportunities to enhance service delivery, taking advantage of opportunities available via external funding where appropriate. Given the current financial constraints, the Hospital is experiencing significant financial challenges in relation to enhancing patient experience, where costs would be incurred out with the core service delivery budget. Opportunities have been identified across a range of services within the Hospital, particularly in relation to the range of patient activities available, and work streams supporting the Supporting Healthy Choices initiative. The role will require the volunteer to engage with patients, carers, staff and other volunteers, supported by the Person Centred Improvement team. Additionally, the volunteer will be asked to contribute to reports and, on occasion, attend a number of internal meetings, including the Person Centred Improvement Steering Group, and Patient Partnership Group. The Hospital works collaboratively with Forensic Network partners and other supporting organisations e.g. Health Improvement Scotland: Community Engagement, Volunteer Scotland, the volunteer may also be asked to contribute to presentations and attend external events which promote and share best practice.