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Psychiatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU)

We update our bed availability every week day - if you would like to receive this direct to your email please let us know by clicking HERE

Psychiatric intensive care units (PICU) are inpatient psychiatric wards that provide mental health care and treatment of patients with acute and enduring mental health issues.

Providing male and female PICU wards in both Essex and Northampton - conveniently located and easily accessible on major transport routes - we take patients from across the country.

All of our PICU’s are members of NAPICU and we abide by the NAPICU minimum standards and admission criteria.

Heygate - Male PICU Northampton - 01604 616 111 Email: [email protected]

Bayley - Female PICU Northampton - 01604 614 584 Email: [email protected]

Audley - Male PICU Essex - 01268 723 930 Email: [email protected]

Frinton - Female PICU Essex - 01268 723 860 Email: [email protected]

From 1 October 2019 changes to our enhanced support will come into effect - please refer to our referral form for details

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).

 Since 1 February 2019, the Male and Female PICU in Northampton have been trialling body ward cameras on nurses. For further information please contact the Operational Lead, Dean Robinson, by emailing [email protected]

Live PICU Update

Updated: 8AM Friday 18 September

4 Female Beds Available

Bayley 0 beds


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Frinton 4 Beds Available Now


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6 Male Beds Available

Audley 2 Beds Available Now


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Heygate 4 Beds Available Now


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Rapid Response service for adults in crisis

We offer rapid assessment and admission (including within 24 hours) for patients in crisis 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: 0800 434 6690

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. Click here to read our brochure.