About Priory

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Priory is the leading independent provider of mental healthcare and adult social care in the UK.

We support over 28,000 people a year to move towards a healthier future so they can live their lives as fully and independently as possible.

We have two divisions which provide:

  • Healthcare services, and
  • Adult social care services

We are dedicated to supporting people to improve their health and wellbeing, and we understand that the most effective services and treatment are based around each person’s specific needs.

Priory is a long-established and respected company. Over the years, we have built a reputation for having a meaningful and lasting impact on everyone who uses our services.

Service provision

We currently treat more than 70 different conditions through a nationwide network of 290 facilities. Our services include:

Private healthcare

  • Mental health services – including treatment for depression, anxiety, stress, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Addiction treatment programmes – including treatment for alcohol addiction, drug addiction, gambling addiction, love and sex addiction, internet addiction and shopping addiction
  • Eating disorder services – including treatment for anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, binge eating disorder (BED) and other specified feeding or eating disorders (OSFED)
  • Private mental health services for children

NHS healthcare

Priory Healthcare has structured its services to align with NHS provision, in order to ensure a consistent approach to treatment. Our extensive national network means that we're able to offer a full care pathway to patients, depending on their unique needs and the intensity of the support that's required. These include dedicated NHS care pathways from our secure services right through to a return to community living.

In the last year, we have opened a range of new wards, services and centres, enabling us to broaden our offerings and deliver increased responsiveness to the needs of the NHS, in line with regional and national demands.

Our NHS services at Priory consist of:

  • Adult acute, high dependency unit (HDU) and psychiatric intensive care unit (PICU) services
  • Child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS)
  • Brain injury services
  • Eating disorder services
  • Rehabilitation and recovery (R&R) services
  • Secure services

We are ready to take emergency placements from the NHS 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for adult acute mental health, PICU, adult eating disorders and CAMHS. To view our current bed availability please click here.

The care that we provide is part of an overall patient pathway and we are always delighted to work closely with NHS providers to make referrals, transfers and discharges as safe and seamless as possible. We welcome NHS commissioners to visit our facilities to see our treatment environments, meet our expert staff, find out more about our care programmes, and gain a feel for our commitment to outcomes-focused treatment.

Priory Healthcare's 24/7 customer service centre – supporting emergency placements

Priory Healthcare's 24/7 customer service centre, provides round-the-clock support for NHS mental health enquiries and referrals, demonstrating our commitment to providing the best possible mental health support to the NHS. The call centre provides a single point of access for enquiries and referrals. Our customer referral co-ordinators will support you from your first call right through to the enquiry conclusion, providing updates throughout the process.

Our service at a glance:

  • 24/7 crisis referrals
  • Fast access to bed availability and placements
  • Single access point for end-to-end enquiry management

We have also launched a new NHS acute triage service, providing a focused triage assessment and reducing the amount of time that it takes for people to access the expert mental healthcare they need.

Our teams work closely with commissioners and referrers across the country to provide transparent pricing models and evidence-based care packages, at every stage of the patient’s journey with us.

Adult Care services

We provide a range of specialist residential and supported living services for adults aged 18 years and over with a learning disability, autism, Prader-Willi syndrome, acquired brain injury (ABI) or a mental health condition. We also support older people who require residential, nursing and dementia care in later life.

With over 220 services, including care homes and a network of supported living services, we pride ourselves on offering the highest standards of person-centred care within safe and homely environments. Our aim is to help everyone we support to lead fulfilled lives and where possible, achieve positive outcomes regardless of age or presumed ability.

Our provision

Whether in a residential home environment or out in the community, our dedicated and person-centred approach ensures people develop at their own pace, are supported to achieve their goals, and make their own choices about their daily lives.

We offer a wide range of specialist care services to meet the social, physical and emotional needs of all the people we support. These include:

  • Residential and nursing care tailored to the needs of the individual
  • Innovative support programmes in nurturing and caring environments
  • Supported living and community outreach transition services
  • Independent living in safe accommodation
  • Dedicated and highly qualified staff teams
  • Access to education and paid employment opportunities for adults aged 18 years and over
  • Progression through a care pathway that fulfils potential
  • Choices for the people we support, that encompass each person’s needs, to achieve positive outcomes

Care pathways

At Priory, we have developed our range of services to provide unique and individual care pathways for the people we support. This puts the focus on the individual receiving a seamless transition as they progress between our higher and lower dependency services. Read about how Priory care pathways can support people throughout the country.

We offer programmes that integrate healthcare treatment and therapy, tailored according to individual needs, in an appropriate setting. Our strength is that we can provide a seamless transition for people as they progress between higher and lower dependency services.

This unique approach ensures that every person has the opportunity to achieve the best possible outcomes and quality of life with Priory.

A diverse team of leading experts

Priory is home to an experienced team of practitioners, many of whom are published and leading experts in their field. Our specialists are committed to delivering the best care to each person who receives support with us, and pride themselves on placing patients at the heart of their treatment and rehabilitation journey. This approach ensures that people are allocated to the best expert for their needs and benefit from a tailored programme that produces the most positive outcomes.

We also ensure that our specialists engage in continuous professional development in order to guarantee that their practice is guided by the very latest research and adheres to National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) guidelines, and other relevant standards.

Safety, quality and compliance

All providers of healthcare, specialist services and social care have a responsibility to strive for excellence in their services, and to identify areas for improvement. Our Priory promise is to deliver the highest standards of safety, quality, care and treatment for the people we support. We are committed to implementing this promise in practice, and demonstrate that we're able to achieve consistently high standards across all of our services.

Our sector is regulated by a number of bodies:

  • The Care Quality Commission (CQC), which reports on health and adult social care services in England
  • Ofsted, which inspects and regulates services that care for children and young people
  • Regulation and Quality Improvement Authority (RQIA)
  • Care Inspectorate (Scotland)
  • Healthcare Improvement Scotland (HIS)
  • Care and Social Services Inspectorate Wales (CSSIW)
  • Health Inspectorate Wales (HIW)
  • Care Inspectorate Wales (CIW)

Priory has a strong track record of clinical quality. Our facilities are regularly inspected by external regulatory bodies such as the CQC. In addition, we are able to demonstrate good compliance outcomes and a strong ratings profile. Priory has also achieved ISO accreditation, and with strict clinical governance protocols in place, we ensure that we deliver consistently high quality person-centred care, education and support.

For more information, please visit our safety, quality and compliance page.

Our history

Priory was founded in 1980 with the purchase of Priory Hospital Roehampton, by an independent healthcare company. The Roehampton site has been in continuous operation since its launch in 1872 by renowned Psychiatrist, Dr William Wood. Over the following decades, Priory acquired more hospitals and diversified its services. In 1993, Priory moved into specialist education services with the purchase of Jacques Hall Foundation, followed by an adolescent therapeutic community, in Manningtree, Essex.

In 2014, we opened our first Priory Wellbeing Centre in Fenchurch Street, London, and acquired the Castlecare Group, one of the UK’s leading providers of local authority funded children’s services. Castlecare, which formed part of our Education and Children's Services division, delivers high quality services across children’s homes and specialist schools.

In September 2015, we acquired Life Works, one of the leading addiction and mental health hospitals in the UK, which joined our Healthcare division to continue supporting people with mental health conditions and addictive behaviours.

In December 2015, we acquired Progress Care, a leading provider of specialist education and care in Lancashire. Progress Care’s service for young adults became part of Priory Adult Care Services, and its children's service joined Priory Education and Children’s Services.

In February 2016, Priory formally became part of Acadia Healthcare, one of the leading providers of behavioural care in the world.

In November 2016, Priory merged with Partnerships in Care, a UK-based healthcare company owned by Acadia. This resulted in 66 sites, with a total of 1,890 beds, joining Priory.

In November 2017, Aspire Scotland joined our Education and Children’s Services division. Aspire provides education and care to young people aged 8 to 18 years, with complex needs. Thirty residential beds across seven children's homes and a day school joined the division, as well as a café and member’s gym for both students and the general public.

In January 2021, Priory was acquired by Waterland Private Equity. Waterland’s existing portfolio of companies includes MEDIAN, Germany’s largest provider of rehabilitation, neurology and orthopaedic treatments. MEDIAN operates 123 clinics and facilities with 20,000 beds and places across Germany, and treats 260,000 patients annually. Following the acquisition, on 12 July 2021, Waterland unified Priory’s operations with those of MEDIAN to create Europe’s leading rehabilitation and mental health services provider, with a focus on health and social care services in the UK.

In July 2021, Waterland formed a new standalone company called Aspris, incorporating the previous Priory Education and Children’s Services and Middle East Divisions. As a result, Priory now has two main divisions which focus on healthcare and adult social care services. Our expertise in these areas means we can now provide pathways between healthcare and social care – from the most acute services in hospital, through to the least intensive in the community.

Our purpose and behaviours

Every Priory colleague is committed to our purpose, Live your Life, and our five values:

    • Putting people first – we put the needs of the people we support above all else
    • Being supportive – we support our colleagues, our patients and their families when they need us most
    • Acting with integrity – we are honest, transparent and decent. We treat each other with respect
    • Striving for excellence for over 140 years, we have been trusted by our patients with their care. We take this trust seriously and constantly strive to improve the services we provide
    • Being positive – we see the best in the people we support, and each other, and we strive to get things done. We never give up and we learn from our mistakes

Priory's strategic vision and plan

The Priory Plan 2023-25 outlines our 7 strategic goals and how we intend to achieve them over the next 3 years. Explore our vision and plan, goals, values and commitment to supporting people to live their lives as fully and independently as possible.

Priory election manifesto 2024

Creating a sustainable health and social care system

As we approach the general election on Thursday, 4 July 2024, it is crucial that we take the opportunity to help inform everyone about the role of Priory in the context of a very turbulent period for health and social care across the UK.

As the largest independent provider of mental health and adult social care services operating across England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, we are uniquely positioned to offer guidance, insight, support and potential solutions which are relevant across our nations.

The crisis in the NHS and throughout social care is well-documented and will be centre-stage throughout the election campaign and beyond: from waiting times to workforce shortages, underfunded addiction services and the growing crisis within mental health – especially among young people – and those in crisis waiting extended periods in A&E departments. The health and social care system as it currently exists is unsustainable and in need of fundamental reform.

We are a proud partner of the NHS and local authorities and play a significant part in the national effort to provide capacity within mental health and social care, working closely with our commissioners and partners to offer specialist support to some of the most vulnerable people in the UK.

At this juncture it is vital we advocate for the role and importance of the independent sector and ensure people fully understand how it already improves and enhances the wider system with opportunities to take this further.

We treat more than 70 conditions including depression, anxiety, addictions and eating disorders, alongside child and adolescent mental health, while also supporting autistic adults and adults with a learning disability, Prader-Willi Syndrome and brain injuries, as well as older people, within specialist residential care and supported living facilities.

This means we have created pathways between health and social care services within one organisation, in keeping with the vision of integrated care systems that seek to break down the barriers between health and social care services.

Priory’s models of care are supporting thousands of people a year to live their lives to the full, despite the profound challenges many face. We take huge pride in this and would love to share our knowledge more broadly so we can improve the system together for all patients, residents, families and carers.

We know that Priory has a lot to contribute as the country looks to overcome significant challenges across the health and social care sectors, and we call on the incoming government to work with us to ensure a successful and sustainable future for everyone.

Our priorities for the next government:

  • Promote care as a career: A clear career path for people working in care that offers personal growth and acknowledges the vital role they play so we can better tackle the workforce crisis
  • Acknowledge the intrinsic role of the independent sector as a partner in the UK health and social care system: The independent sector plays a critical role in the delivery of high quality mental health and social care and should be viewed as an integral part of local health and social care economies
  • Focus on homes not hospitals: More community provision so that autistic people and people with a learning disability or a long-term, enduring mental health condition can transition to better and more appropriate environments, within the community whenever possible
  • Commission integrated health and social care pathways, giving independent providers a seat at the table: Integration of health and social care as has been implemented at Priory, with greater involvement from the independent sector in co-designing pathways to meet individual needs
  • Honour the true cost of care: Ensure funders provide adequate financial support to cover the true cost of care so providers can continue to operate sustainable services and homes can avoid closure
  • Ensure fair, consistent and effective regulation across health and social care: Avoid significant and unjustified variations in the standard, quality and equity of inspections and reports which impacts patient confidence, recruitment and can delay or prevent improvement
  • Prioritise early intervention for mental health conditions: Deliver fundamental reform in mental health provision within primary care and communities – particularly for children and young people – to avoid rapidly escalating acuity where people become severely unwell and have poorer outcomes
  • Improve access to and provision of addiction services, with greater support for people with co-existing mental health conditions: Commission services that provide integrated support for addiction and mental health conditions as a part of a national treatment programme, ensuring equal access to appropriate services for all and earlier.

Rebekah Cresswell  
CEO, Priory

For Rebekah's comments, read our press release.

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