Men's Mental Health - low secure

A low secure rehabilitation and recovery service in Northampton for men aged 18-65 with complex mental health needs.

Spencer South is a 12 bed ward which is part of our male forensic care pathway. It acts as a step down from the medium secure wards of Robinson and Pritchard to consolidate the process of recovery and build on the work previously undertaken. The ward is needs led with specialist treatment and rehabilitation for working age men with a complex mental health need.

The ward opened in the Malcolm Arnold building in 2017 but now resides in our Spencer House building which is situation in the middle of our Northampton campus. 

Spencer House outdoor space

Large open spaces adjacent to ward areas

Spencer South Artroom

Dedicated therapy spaces throughout, including an art and design room

Spencer House outdoor

Open outdoor spaces to relax

Spencer House activities

Wide range of activities available on or off the ward

Admissions criteria

Spencer South supports males aged between 18 to 65 years old with a primary diagnosis of mental illness. Males admitted may also have a comorbidity of mental illness with:

  • personality disorder
  • bipolar disorder
  • paranoid schizophrenia
  • psychosis
  • borderline intellectual impairment
  • development disorders.

Patients are likely to have a forensic history and will need to be detained under the Mental Health Act 1983. These criteria are a guide for assessing suitability. Each patient will be individually assessed by our dedicated team.

Treatment and care

Spencer South is designed to support the step down of males from our medium secure services, however the ward can equally support males who require admission from other secure services to continue their treatment and rehabilitation.

Males on Spencer South will continue rehabilitation programmes that work to help them address any index offences, such as sex offences or fire setting. Rehabilitation programmes will also help males to understand their mental health needs and support them to develop the coping skills necessary to overcome difficult situations or periods which could trigger behaviours that challenge themselves or others.

The psychological therapies continue from our medium secure services and include Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Dialectical Behavioural Therapy (DBT) skills programme and offences related interventions. In addition to this, supportive psychological therapies include coping skills, problem solving and understanding needs. Each of these activities and treatment interventions are based on a thorough understanding of an individual males wants, needs and goals.

Treatment on the ward typically consists of three stages:

Stage 1: The clinical team work with the male to help achieve physical and emotional stabilisation.

Stage 2: The clinical team aim to encourage the male to engage in therapies to develop coping mechanisms that help regulate behaviour and emotions.

Stage 3: The clinical team focus on integration and recovery which includes relapse prevention, further self-understanding and resilience building to assist in the transition to a lower setting or community placements.

A broad range of activities are also offered to males as part of a comprehensive activity and holistic treatment programme. Activities range from sports to arts and crafts and are situated both on and off the ward in order to challenge learnt skills in different scenarios.

Treatment interventions on Spencer North and South aim to equip a male with a thorough understanding of their mental health needs and the skills required to live the life they wish to outside of a hospital setting.


Spencer South is a modern environment which provides a homely space for the treatment and rehabilitation of males.

The ward is located in the centre of our Northampton campus, surrounded by wide open spaces. It has football pitches opposite the building and tennis courts. Next to the building there is Gloucester House, which contains a swimming pool, gym facilities and squash courts.

Our Northampton campus is a ten minute walk to the Northampton town centre and next to Northampton's general hospital.

On the ward there, males have their own bedroom with en-suite bathroom. There is a communal lounge, games room, dedicated therapy and activity rooms and a large private garden.

Many patients develop well at St Andrew's, building their skills and interests to attend Workbridge, which is located next to St Andrew's Healthcare and which provides a range of vocational opportunities in which to develop work and life skills as part of a male's therapy programme.

Next steps

For males on Spencer South the aim is to support their understanding and development to such an extend that they will be able to successfully discharge from hospital and live their lives within a community setting. This is something which is discussed between relevant parties upon admission.