Broadmoor Hospital is a high-security psychiatric hospital at Crowthorne in Berkshire, England. It is the best known of the three high-security psychiatric hospitals in England, the other two being Ashworth and Rampton.
The Broadmoor complex houses about 210 patients, all of whom are men since the female service closed in September 2007, with most of the women moving to a new service in Southall and the remainder moving to Rampton and elsewhere. At any one time there are also approximately 36 patients on trial leave at other units. Most of the patients there suffer from severe mental illness; many also have personality disorders. Most have either been convicted of serious crimes, or been found unfit to plead in a trial for such crimes. The average stay is six years, but this figure is skewed by a few patients who have stayed for over 30 years; most patients stay for considerably less time.
The hospital’s catchment area consists of four National Health Service regions: London, Eastern, South East and South West.
A new unit called the Paddock Centre already opened on 12 December 2005 to contain and treat patients classed as having a ‘dangerous severe personality disorder’ (DSPD). This was a new and much debated category invented on behalf of the UK government, based on an individual being considered a ‘Grave and Immediate Danger’ to the general public, and meeting some combination of criteria for personality disorders and/or high scores on the Hare Psychopathy Check list – Revised. The Paddock Centre was designed to eventually house 72 patients, but never opened more than four of its six 12-bedded wards. The Dept of Health and Ministry of Justice National Personality Disorder Strategy published in October 2011 concluded that the resources invested in the DSPD programme should instead be used in prison based treatment programmes and the DSPD service at Broadmoor was required to close by 31 March 2012. The patients were transferred either back to prison, on to medium secure units to continue treatment, on to the residual national DSPD service at the Peaks Unit in Rampton, or to elsewhere in Broadmoor in the Personality Disorder directorate. The Paddock now, in 2013, provides general admission wards and high dependency wards for both the mental illness and personality disorder directorates, and all 72 beds are in use.
Much of Broadmoor’s architecture is still Victorian, including the Grade 1 listed gatehouse, which has a clock tower.
Following long-standing reports that the old buildings were unfit for purpose (for therapy or safety), planning permission was granted in 2012 for a £242 million redevelopment, involving a new unit comprising 10 wards to adjoin the existing 6 wards of the modern Paddock Unit, resulting in total bed numbers of 234. Building company Kier reported in 2013 a sum of £115m for the new unit of 162 beds, ready to accept patients by the start of 2017, and £43m for a separate new medium secure unit for men nearby.