New PICU opens in Northampton

St Andrew’s Healthcare in Northampton has today opened a new, 10-bed psychiatric intensive care unit (PICU) for female patients aged over 18.  The unit – known as Bayley - will support women from Northamptonshire and across the Midlands who are suffering from very severe, acute mental health problems by offering specialist care and assessment close to home.

A PICU is a specialist psychiatric inpatient ward for patients with complex mental health needs who require intensive support. Offering emergency mental health treatment, PICU units have highly skilled staff medical and nursing who are able to assess and stabilise people at risk of aggression, suicide or vulnerability.  The PICU has been established to meet demand in the local area, and will allow women to be treated near their family and friends, who can play an important part in recovery.

St Andrew’s new unit will care for women who are in an acutely disturbed phase of a serious mental health disorder. Patients are closely monitored during their stay, and are normally cared for over short periods of time (weeks, rather than months) until their condition improves. Once risk has been reduced and the patient’s mental state and behaviour has been stabilised, St Andrew’s focuses on moving individuals back in to less secure or community settings as soon as possible.

The new PICU unit will sit alongside St Andrew’s male unit which is already up and running in Northampton . St Andrew’s Healthcare also offers both male and female psychiatric intensive care from the Essex site.

Dean Robinson, Nurse Manager, explained: “Our aim is to offer Women who are acutely unwell rapid admission, stabilisation and discharge.   The ward will adopt a multi-disciplinary approach to ensure the patient receives the best possible care. ”

St Andrew’s new PICU unit will feature 10 individual bedrooms with en-suite bathrooms, a large enclosed courtyard, children and family visiting room and a multi-faith room. Patients will also be able to use the fitness suite, therapy areas - including crafts, information technology skills, kitchens and vocational rehabilitation and a café (onsite). For more information, click here.