Our PICU and Rapid Response services provide high quality psychiatric intensive care in clinically safe and supportive environments. To make a PICU referral please call the relevant ward before submitting a referral form.

Heygate - Male PICU Northampton - 01604 616 111

Audley - Male PICU Essex - 01268 723 930

Frinton - Female PICU Essex - 01268 723 860

Our PICU services provide tailored treatment programs that are developed to recognise each individual’s strengths, needs and risks, with specific emphasis on treating mental illness and starting the recovery process.They are gender specific and therefore accept either male or female patients who:

  • are aged 18-65 years
  • are suffering from an acute mental illness or an exacerbation of a chronic mental illness
  • may be displaying challenging behaviours as a result of a mental illness
  • demonstrate significant risk, including aggression to self and others, absconding and / or vulnerability
  • require relatively short-term intensive care in a safe environment
  • have been detained under the Mental Health Act 1983 (as amended by the Mental Health Act 2007)

We also offer a Rapid Response service for older adults in crisis to provide urgent stabilisation and intensive therapy in a safe environment (see below for more details).

Live PICU Update

Updated: 04pm Friday 26th May

4 Female Beds Available

Frinton 4 Beds Available Now


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3 Male Beds Available

Audley 3 Beds Available Now


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Making a referral to PICU

Step 1. 

You identify the need for a PICU admission and contact St Andrews. 

Step 2. 

Initial telephone assessment of need and risk.
We aim to reach an admission decision within the hour.

Step 3.

We co-ordinate admission to a male or female PICU service.

Step 4. 

Assessment, stabilisation and discharge planning begin at the point of admission.

Step 5.

Regular telephone contact ensures consistent planning of the care pathway.

Step 6.

Assessment and risk evaluation.
A multidisciplinary team (MDT) treatment plan is completed within seven days.

Step 7.

Evidence-based recovery and treatment is delivered by a full multi-disciplinary team.

Step 8. 

We work closely with the patient, carers and referrers at discharge to make the transition timely and as seamless as possible.

Referral form and brochure

Click to download

PICU brochure PICU referral form

Conveniently located

Our PICU services are conveniently located at the heart of an excellent road network which are easily accessible on major transport routes:

Northampton - 10 minutes from M1

Essex - 15 minutes from M25

Rapid Response service for older adults in crisis:

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

To make a referral call: 01604 616 000

Who do we support?

We can admit patients who present with the following conditions, including those detained under the Mental Health Act 1983 (as amended in 2007):

1.  People with an Acquired Brain Injury (ABI), including organic brain injury

2.  People with progressive neurological conditions (PNC), such as complex dementia and Huntington's disease (HD)

Patients admitted will be displaying behavioural difficulties and disturbances that compromise their own safety or that of others, and which cannot be managed or treated within their current setting.

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