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We're supporting Huntington's disease awareness month this May 2024

This month we're supporting the Huntington Disease Association's (HDA) campaign to raise awareness of the far reaching impact of the disease for people who are living with HD and their families.

The HDA are asking people to take a little time this May to find out more about this relatively rare condition and our specialist HD team at St Andrew's have been sharing their knowledge and insight.

In her video ‘Let’s Talk About Huntington’s Disease’ Dr Inga Stewart talks about how we can be more aware of the physical and mental symptoms of the disease and the simple ways in which we can be respectful and accepting towards people living with Huntington's Disease (HD).

Inga Stewart St Andrews Portrait 310124 0024"It's really important that we remember that you can live well with HD and although there isn't a cure at the moment, we can treat the symptoms"

Often people will assume that the physical symptoms of HD are the first to become apparent, but mood and changes to a person’s behaviour can be the first areas to be affected:

“People might present with symptoms of depression and anxiety, and this may be linked to all the things that are happening in their life because of the HD, but it could also be due to the changes in their brain.” Dr Inga Stewart


To find out more and watch the video click HERE 

Understanding the effects of HD

The effects of HD are wide-ranging and change how people think, feel, speak, move, swallow and eat. These effects the effects of HD avatarcan be broadly grouped into three key elements of change:Front cover HD guide image  mini web version

  • Cognitive
  • Emotional
  • Physical

all of which affect how people with HD behave and determine their needs.

To help you to recognise and respond to these needs we have, in association with the Huntington's Disease Association, created a mini guide which you can download here or a booklet which you can download here.

Insight into our specialist care

Working across separate male and female HD units, at St Andrew’s our specialist teams have a deep understanding of the physical, emotional and psychological impact of life with HD.

HD avatar circleThe MDT use a range of treatment programmes adapted to the needs of each person living with HD, providing structure and routine but also recognising that approaches need to be adaptive to meet the changing needs of people as the disease progresses.

As the first RAID® Centre of Excellence we incorporate the RAID® model principles in every interaction – positive, meaningful, engagement and reinforcement – to tailor care and understand each person's need.

Ward based social work and occupational therapy teams support people on a day to day basis and provide a valuable link to family and community teams to facilitate discharge back to home or a suitable community placement closer to home.


Our HD wards

Cherry ward

Cherry, our female HD ward

Waltons conservatory

The conservatory on Walton, our male HD ward

Life Story Book work image

Life Story Book work is a means for the MDT to understand and connect with a person

Dining area in Cherry

Integral acoustic dampening in Cherry dining room creates a calm environment

Our HD Service at a glance

We provide tailored treatment for people with HD focusing on three core components; neuropsychiatry, cognitive deficits and physical / motor deficits.  Our services include:

  • >in-patient service for adults aged 18+ at any stage of HD
  • > adapted environments and specialist equipment
  • > admission for full and comprehensive time-limited assessments
  • > highly specialised HD professionals form ward-based MDTs
  • > specialist input including Dieticians, GP and podiatry
  • > ability to manage complex behaviours that challenge self and/or others
  • > HD active care wards designed to maximise functional ability
  • > gender specific wards
  • > leisure and therapy to enhance wellbeing and quality of life
  • > secure services for forensic admissions
  • > dedicated social workers to support placement transitions
  • > access to MRI, CT neuroimaging and medical healthcare facilities
  • > CQC rated Good for Neuropsychiatry services
  • > dedicated dysphagia kitchen, and winner of 2016 Healthcare Caterer of the Year
  • > close to the heart of Northampton town centre
  • > 140 acre landscaped campus
  • > central location with excellent access to M1, and rail and air services
Suitable for patients detained under the Mental Health Act 1983 (2007) or on a Deprivation of Liberty Safeguard Order (DoLS), or informal.

Rapid Response service for older adults in crisis

We also offer rapid assessment and admission for people whose behavioural presentation or cognitive function has deteriorated and who require urgent stabilisation and intensive therapy in a safe environment.

Our programmes deliver treatment to support a return to community once the crisis period has subsided, and also offers a service for patients requiring a more extensive care package. View our brochure.