HMICS Custody Inspection Report - Ayrshire

30 May 2024

The aim of this inspection, undertaken jointly by HM Inspectorate of Constabulary in Scotland (HMICS) and Healthcare Improvement Scotland (HIS), was to assess the treatment of, and conditions for, individuals detained in the police custody centres at Kilmarnock and Saltcoats, in Ayrshire.

The report provides an analysis of the quality of custody centre operations and the provision of healthcare services.

It also outlines key findings identifiedĀ during our inspection and makes eight recommendations for both Police Scotland and NHS Ayrshire and Arran that aim to improve custody services and the provision of healthcare for people in police custody.

While the recommendations in this report have specific relevance for Kilmarnock and Saltcoats custody centres, we recognise that some of these will be equally applicable to other custody centres across Scotland.




Police Scotland should review compliance with policy relating to the delay of release following a disposal decision being made and ensure that staff adhere to this.


Police Scotland should ensure that custody staff have a clear understanding of what response is required for each of the defined observation levels and that these are applied consistently.


NHS Ayrshire & Arran should ensure formal and regular clinical supervision is available to all nursing staff.


NHS Ayrshire and Arran should ensure that sharps bins are managed in line with current guidance.


NHS Ayrshire and Arran should ensure that infection prevention and control training is made available to all healthcare staff.


NHS Ayrshire and Arran should introduce an audit to assure themselves of the quality of medicine prescribing in the police custody centres.


NHS Ayrshire and Arran must ensure effective processes are in place for the recording of controlled medicines to ensure patient safety and compliance with regulatory requirements.


NHS Ayrshire and Arran should work with the custody centres to increase detainee awareness of the availability of nicotine replacement therapy.

Publication type: 
Inspection report