Ashworth Hospital - Mersey Care High Secure Services

Ashworth Hospital is part of Mersey Care NHS Trust and is one of only three hospitals in the country providing services for patients who require treatment and care in conditions of high security.  

Ashworth's vision is to be a centre of excellence for high secure care - protecting the public by providing a safe, secure and therapeutic environment for patients and staff.

Patients are admitted to Ashworth Hospital in a range of ways but all come because they present a grave danger to themselves and or other people.

The majority, but not all, of Ashworth Hospital patients either come from prison, or through the court system or from a secure unit. Not all patients who are referred to Ashworth Hospital are admitted. Each person being considered for admission is assessed for suitability by a panel of senior clinicians.

Of those who are admitted there is a period of assessment in one of the special admission wards. Assessment can take just a few weeks or many months depending on the complexity of the patient’s condition.

Some patients only stay at the hospital for a short period. Others stay for many years. Patients remain in the high secure service until they are safe and well enough to move to a medium secure or other unit.

The majority of patients in Ashworth Hospital come from the North West, West Midlands or Wales. Whenever possible patients in need of high secure care are cared for and treated in whichever of the three high secure hospitals is nearest to their home to make it easier for relatives and friends to visit.

The range of problems experienced by patients at Ashworth Hospital includes all sorts of mental disorders including personality disorder. Many patients have several different mental disorders including personality disorder all of which require treatment.

The physical healthcare of patients is very important and the hospital takes this very seriously. There is a health centre within the hospital which looks after primary care needs of patients and specialist consultants from general hospitals visit as and when required. 

Information about  the range of services provided for patients at Ashworth Hospital and information for visitors can be found below.

The Management Team

Ashworth Hospital's Management Team include:

  • Ray Walker, Executive Director of Nursing and Secure Service
  • Astrid Henderson, Director of Operations
  • Dave McKenna, Director of Security
  • Dr Melanie Higgins, Associate Medical Director

Contact Details for Ashworth Hospital

Ashworth Hospital
L31 1HW

Telephone: 0151 473 0303