Arrow ImageAcute, PICU and Rapid Response

Our Acute and PICU bed status - Friday 5 August

Going into the weekend, we have male beds in Northampton and Essex and one female bed in Essex. Bayley, our female ward in Northampton, is unable to accept a referral today due to high acuity on the ward, but ring over the weekend as the situation is likely to change.

Our male Acute ward is currently full.

Our Neurobehavioural Rapid Response service offering short-term stabilisation, admission and assessment for people with a brain injury or PNC has one male bed available today. To discuss a Rapid Response referral please scroll down this page for the specific contact details.

Our short stay Acute male Admission Ward - Benfleet - is now open

Suitable for men over the age of 18 years who have been detained under the Mental Health Act and who are experiencing a relapse or crisis in their mental wellbeing. Benfleet will offer a safe environment where our expert MDT will work with people so they can be transferred to more appropriate settings or discharged at the earliest opportunity if they are well enough to return home.

To make an enquiry please telephone 01268 723 920

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Download our Acute and PICU service brochure 

Our four male and female PICU wards are based centrally across Northampton and Essex offering 24/7 rapid assessment, intensive treatment and stabilisation for people with acute phases of mental illness, we aim to give you a decision on your referral within the hour. 

To make an enquiry or discuss a referral please contact our wards directly

Heygate ward – Male PICU N'ton Tel: 01604 616 111 Email:

Bayley ward – Female PICU N'ton Tel: 01604 614 584 Email:

Audley ward – Male PICU Essex Tel: 01268 723 930 Email:

Frinton ward – Female PICU Essex Tel: 01268 723 860 Email:

Rapid Response service - For acquired brain injury, complex dementia or Huntington's disease

Male or Female Northampton - Telephone: 0800 434 6690   Email:


Our current Covid-19 Testing and Quarantine Protocols for New admissions

New Covid-19 testing and isolation guidance for patients - 10/05/2022

There is now updated Covid-19 guidance for healthcare settings, which means there are some changes to the admissions and isolation processes affecting our patients:

1. New admissions will need to isolate and complete a lateral flow test. If negative, the patient can end isolation, but if positive the patient will remain in isolation, see below

2. Patients that have received a positive result can end their isolation before the 10 days if they have 2 consecutive negative LFT results 24 hours apart. This testing will be done from day 5.

Short term quarantining ensures the safety of all of our patients and staff.


How have you found our PICU referral to admission process?

As a charity working in partnership with others, we are continuously seeking feedback to improve the services we offer. If you have used our PICU services, please let us know your views, opinions, thoughts or ideas to help us continuously improve.

Click here to share your feedback.

Live PICU Update

Updated: 9AM Friday 05 August

1 Female Bed Available

Bayley 1 bed poss at weekend


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Frinton 1 Bed Available Now


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2 Male Beds Available

Audley 1 Bed Available Now


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Benfleet 0 beds


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Heygate 1 Bed Available Now


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Our PICUs at a glance

Our PICUs offer a short period of rapid assessment, intensive treatment and stabilisation for people with acute phases of mental illness who are in need of emergency psychiatric care.

24/7 admissions service with decision within an hour of a referral.

Our team are expert in treating people with acute mental illness and complex needs, offering a range of group and individual therapeutic interventions to meet the patient’s needs at different stages of their recovery.

Included in the daily bed rate:

  • No admission fee
  • Assessment on admission
  • All medication included on the ward from admission.

Referrals accepted direct from Clinical Commissioning Groups and Foundation Trusts.

All our PICU wards are members of NAPICU, and adhere to the NAPICU minimum standards and their admissions criteria.

Our Rapid Response Service at a glance

As part of our Neurobehavioural services we also offer rapid assessment and short stay service for patients with an ABI or PNC 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.

Make a referral: 0800 434 6690

Male or female patients aged 18-65 years typically present with:

  • an Acquired Brain Injury (ABI), including organic brain injury
  • progressive neurological conditions (PNC), such as complex dementia and Huntington's disease (HD)
  • acute metal illness or an exacerbation of a chronic mental illness
  • challenging behaviours as a result of a mental illness
  • significant risk, including aggression to self and others, absconding and / or vulnerability
  • who require relatively short-term intensive care in a safe environment
  • and have been detained under the Mental Health Act 1983 (as amended by the Mental Health Act 2007).

Support for carers, family and friends

The therapeutic value of regular engagement with family and friends can be key to a person’s recovery and thankfully we are now able to welcome family and carers back on site.

  • We know that being a relative, carer or friend of someone who has been admitted onto one of our crisis service wards can be worrying and stressful and our Carers team is here to provide emotional support and help with issues such as health and money.  Our Carers Centre can be contacted on 01604 616125, and a support line is available Monday to Friday, visit our carers pages for more information.
  • For family visiting our Northampton site, St Andrew's are able to offer accommodation locally to aid your support of a loved on in our crisis services. Please discuss this with the ward to arrange.