Miss Catherine Gurney OBE established a convalescent home for police officers called the Southern Police Convalescent Home in 1890 and the second one for northern police officers in Harrogate in 1897. Miss Gurney worked with the poor in London when she became aware of the work of police officers, which then turned her attention to their welfare. In 1889, she placed one injured police officer in a convalescent home, only to find he left early because he was placed in a bed next to a violent criminal, whom he had previously arrested. It was then obvious that specialist police-only convalescent facilities were needed and the Police Treatment Centres were born.
The Police Treatment Centres (PTC) provides two treatment centres – one in Harrogate, North Yorkshire, and one in Auchterarder, Perthshire. Serving and retired police officers can receive intensive physiotherapy, recuperation and treatments following an illness or injury, on or off duty, to aid their return to better health and wellbeing. A new 2 week structured psychological wellbeing programme has been introduced specifically for serving patients who need support with stress, anxiety and other such conditions. Treatment is generally provided on a residential basis, however where provision allows outpatient and day patient services can be offered. Treatment includes; intensive physiotherapy, personalised exercise plans and classes, workshops focussing on subjects such as dealing with stress and shift work, complementary treatments and counselling support via our Patient Advisors.
Over 4,000 serving and retired officers attended the centres last year. Treatment is provided free of charge for officers who make the voluntary payroll giving donation.
From 1 January 2016, the Police Treatment Centres will allow PCSOs, Special Constables and detention/custody officers (employed by the Chief Constable or Police and Crime Commissioner) to sign up to donate to the PTC, and therefore will be eligible to access treatment.
The PTC will introduce a weekly donation for retired officers from 1 January 2016, which they will be required to pay if they wish to apply for treatment.