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New Admissions Unit Opens at Castle Craig to Meet the Challenges of the Coronavirus Pandemic

In response to the Coronavirus pandemic, Castle Craig rehab clinic has launched an innovative, separate admissions and detox unit to treat drug and alcohol addictions.

The separate admissions unit, Kirkurd Unit, was created in response to the unprecedented Coronavirus pandemic and the increased demand on NHS resources and closure of Private and NHS detox beds and rehab clinics around the UK.

The Kirkurd Unit strives for enhanced Covid-19 screening at all stages of admission and detox and a 7 day social distancing period before admission to the main clinic of Castle Craig.

With our unique location, 50 acres of land, away from crowded urban areas, our clinically proven treatment programme and duty of care to our patients, we are ideally suited to provide this service.

This dedicated unit was pioneered by our Major Incident COVID-19 Response Team, led by Dr Margaret McCann, CEO, Professor Jonathan Chick, Medical Director and Janice Stewart, Operations Manager.

Spaces at our separate Admissions Unit are limited to 5 admissions on a Monday, and 5 admissions on a Tuesday. The Unit opens on Monday 23rd March 2020.

Secluded rehab clinic     

Screening and Admission

New admissions must answer a series of infection-control screening questions days in advance of admission to establish they are Covid-19 symptom-free. Referrers are required to ask the screening questions we provide as well as check the temperature of the potential patient and if possible conduct a swab test for Covid-19. 

On arrival, new patients stop at the Reception at the entrance to the grounds, away from the main hospital, and must again answer our infection-control screening questions and have a temperature test to establish they are symptom-free. If the results are clear then they will be admitted onto the treatment programme. Accompanying family members can drop them off at reception and return straight home. We do not admit patients displaying symptoms of Covid-19.

After 7 days in this separate admissions unit our patients proceed to our intensive rehabilitation programme at the Castle Craig main clinic and after 4 weeks of intensive psychotherapeutic treatment they move to our Recovery Garden programme which has been proven to further improve 12 month abstinence rates.

Testing for Covid-19

We have protocols in place for swab testing any suspected case. So far any tests carried out at Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh laboratories have proved negative. We are a Covid-19-free hospital and aim to remain so through best practices of screening and hygiene measures.

Facilities at the Unit

The Kirkurd Unit contains 10 single, en-suite bedrooms, two sitting rooms and a medical centre. One sitting room doubles as a room for groups, lectures, pilates and Mindfulness meditation. Castle Craig’s 50 acres of grounds provide the ideal location for accompanied outside walks away from the rest of the hospital patients. Patients eat together in a shared dining room. 

We have an experienced medical and nursing team used to managing all types of detoxification from alcohol and drugs. Kirkurd Unit medical centre is staffed by 1-2 registered nurses and one healthcare assistant as well as a Medical Officer and Consultant Psychiatrist.

The treatment programme content is reviewed by Unit Leads Aureol Gillan, Mark Abrami and Andrew Sidoli, Treatment Coordinator, and Dr Margaret McCann, CEO. Much of this initial therapy is provided on digital platforms so patients can join the rest of the community at Castle Craig. Live streaming of psychoeducational lectures and therapy meetings delivered to the Kirkurd Unit Lounge.

Our Commitment to our Patients and Referral Partners

Castle Craig Hospital is committed to fulfilling a duty of care to our patients and providing a safe place for those people who continue to require admission for the urgent treatment of addiction during this time of heightened awareness of the transmission and effects of the Coronavirus. Patients are admitted to Castle Craig from the UK and overseas.

We have been working closely with Health Protection Scotland, NHS Borders and local public Health advisors and we are confident we have all necessary procedures in place. 

More Information

For more information on the Screening and Admissions Procedures please contact Janice Stewart, our Operations Manager, Victoria McCann, Senior Communications Manager, or contact our Admissions Department 01721 722763 or [email protected] to enquire about Admissions availability. 

Visit castlecraig.co.uk/coronavirus for our latest Covid-19 Preparedness & Response Updates.

Statement issued: 20 March 2020