Women's Personality Disorder - locked and open

St Andrew’s Spring Hill House is a specialist comprehensive DBT unit, specifically for the treatment of women over the age of 18 with a diagnosis of Borderline Personality Disorder. 

A locked service for women aged over 18 with personality disorder, complex mental health needs, and challenging behaviour.

Established in 1997, Spring Hill House was the first provider of a comprehensive DBT programme in an in-patient setting within the UK, and is the only to provider of an inpatient DBT programme to conduct research proving its effectiveness.

With trained DBT therapists, a DBT trainer and the first Society for DBT accredited therapist, Spring Hill House has established expertise in treating BPD. The DBT programme is unique in that it is delivered through a complete risk managed pathway of care, creating a sense of momentum and motivation for patients.

Onsite swimming pool

Tompkins patients and staff cafe

On site hairdressers

Games room

Comfortable single bedrooms

Outside courtyard

Admission criteria

Women over the age of 18 who have:

  • severe emotional and behavioural difficulties but with a primary diagnosis of emotionally unstable personality disorder
  • problem behaviours that are likely to include: self- harm, suicidal behaviour, violence towards others, problems in interpersonal relationships, substance misuse, self- neglect, fire setting and non-compliance with prescribed medication
  • treatment resistance
  • been detained under either civil or criminal provisions of the Mental Health Act 1983 (amended 2007)
  • a high risk to themselves or others.

Treatment and care

Our programme includes:

  • twice weekly skills training groups
  • weekly individual therapy sessions
  • skills coaching-crisis management
  • consultation for the therapists delivering the treatment.

Our environment complements this programme as it is built around structure, boundaries, bespoke trained staff and an Occupational Therapy pathway of care with a strong psychological model.

Spring Hill House benefits from being embedded within the local community of Northampton, and is close enough to utilise all the facilities that the Northampton Main Site has to offer.

Next steps

Discharge is considered at admission and our clinical and social work teams work with appropriate case managers to support safe and successful transition.

At the point of discharge, patients at Spring Hill House will have successfully gained skills through the structured DBT programme. This enables them to address the cycle of behaviours and suffering associated with BPD in order to make a successful transition back into the community.

Skills would have been tested throughout the patient stay at the various levels of risk, including a pre-discharge step in hostel-like accommodation on site.

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