Keeping man with no criminal convictions at Carstairs costs £5k a week

Official opening of the new State Hospital buildings at Carstairs'26/6/12
Official opening of the new State Hospital buildings at Carstairs'26/6/12
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Fresh calls have been made for the release of a man who has been detained in Scotland’s state psychiatric hospital for 13 years – despite not having any criminal convictions when he was admitted.

Fresh calls have been made for the release of a man who has been detained in Scotland’s state psychiatric hospital for 13 years – despite not having any criminal convictions when he was admitted.

Kyle Gibbon, 31, who has ADHD and a learning disability.

He had been at the facility near Carstairs, South Lanarkshire, almost continuously since he was 18.

A Freedom of Information request, submitted to NHS Scotland by the Citizens Commission on Human Rights, showed that it costs £303,556 a year to care for each patient in the state hospital, which works out at £5,837 a week.

This means that the cost of detaining Mr Gibbon there for the past 13 years is almost £4 million.

Yesterday Aberdeenshire West MSP Alexander Burnett renewed his calls for a review of Mr Gibbon’s case after the figures were released.

Mr Burnett condemned the “enormous public cost”, and called on the authorities to take a different approach to cases like Mr Gibbon’s.

His mother, Tracey, from Kemnay, Aberdeenshire, said her son has been “crushed and institutionalised” and has long campaigned for his release.

She has argued that being held alongside rapists and ­killers in the high-security hospital does not help or support his condition.

Mrs Gibbon went on to say that she feared that he may be stuck in the state hospital because she cannot afford the cost of having his case reassessed.

And she claimed that her son has been subject to the same brutal restraint as some of the hospital’s more violent inmates – leaving him with a broken arm following one incident.

Mr Burnett said: “Taxpayers will be astonished to read these figures, which clearly show the enormous public cost of keeping people like Kyle in Carstairs.

“It is all the more galling when you consider that he has not committed any crime.”

A Scottish Government spokesman said: “Through our mental health strategy we are reviewing existing care and treatment legislation to determine if new measures are necessary to ­fulfil the distinct needs of ­people with learning disabilities or autism.”