Priory Hospital Cardiff

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About this location

Located just a few miles outside Cardiff, South Wales, Priory Hospital Cardiff supports the NHS by offering low secure services for males and females with a personality disorder, a learning disability or a mental health diagnosis. Care is provided across three bespoke therapeutic placements (BTPs), each offering specialist, tailored treatment in the least restrictive environment possible.

Services at a glance

Low secure

4 beds, male and females, 18+

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Priory Hospital Cardiff Dyfrig Road Cardiff CF5 5AD

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Our secure services offer comprehensive support to people with complex mental health needs. We model our service provision on the NHS secure service specification for medium and low secure services, ensuring our patients are given the highest quality of care to enable quick and smooth transitions into local services, wherever possible. We are committed to delivering clinically effective, evidence-based treatment programmes for individuals who require secure care, providing both psychological and physical security.

Ward break down

  • Maple – 2-bedded single sex unit for males or females over the age of 18 years old, detained under the Mental Health Act, diagnosed with a mental health disorder, autism and/or a mild learning disability
  • Elm - 1-bedded single sex unit for males or females over the age of 18 years old, detained under the Mental Health Act, diagnosed with a mental health disorder, autism and/or a mild learning disability
  • Willow – 1-bedded single sex unit for males or females over the age of 18 years old, detained under the Mental Health Act, diagnosed with a mental health disorder, autism and/or a mild learning disability

Conditions treated

We are able to support people with:

  • Complex mental health needs
  • Behaviours that challenge
  • Severe and enduring mental health problems
  • A learning disability
  • A personality disorder
  • Autism
  • Psychosis
  • Sexual offending behaviour
  • Self-harm

We can also support people who present with the following challenges alongside their primary diagnosis:

  • Substance misuse
  • Forensic addictions
  • Physical health needs

We are able to support patients who are detained under the Mental Health Act (MHA).

Treatment approaches

At Cardiff, we offer an individualised, person-centred approach to all of our patients.

Our bespoke setting provides a homely environment adapted to meet people’s needs, where the emphasis is on home and living as opposed to hospital and care. Our aim is to support people to develop their independence skills, enabling them where possible, to transition to community living.

Our assessment and treatment options are overseen by a full and diverse multidisciplinary team (MDT).

We offer:

  • Positive behaviour support (PBS)
  • Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT)
  • Dialectical behaviour therapy (DBT)
  • Occupational therapy (OT)
  • Mindfulness
  • Trauma informed therapy

Short and long-term placements lengths are available, dependent on each individual care plan and needs of the person.

Our team

Our highly experienced, multidisciplinary team consists of:
  • Hospital director
  • BTP manager
  • Charge nurses
  • Mental health and learning disability nurses
  • Healthcare assistants
  • Occupational therapist (OT)
  • OT assistants
  • Registered psychologist
  • Social worker
  • Chef
  • Housekeeper
  • Maintenance assistant
  • General admin
  • Psychology assistant
We also provide specialist staff training, including:
  • Autism support
  • DBT essentials
  • PBS
  • NVQs in health and social care (levels 2, 3, 4 and 5)

Therapeutic and community-based activities

We aim to support patients with a range of therapeutic and community-based activities as part of a full treatment programme. Our aim is to help each patient to become more confident and independent, preparing them to move through their treatment pathway towards community living.

Our therapeutic and community-based activities include:

  • Healthy eating/diet sessions and groups
  • Daily routines/exercise
  • Exploring the nearby area
  • Dog walking
  • Arts and crafts
  • Gardening with vegetable patches
  • On-site bingo
  • Quizzes
  • Sensory sessions
  • Visits from pets as therapy (PAT) animals
  • Music sessions
  • Sports
  • Cookery
  • Yoga
  • Relaxation
  • Drama
  • Fun games
  • Wildlife groups
  • Access to community activities

Our facilities and environment

We believe that the environment in which treatment takes place is just as important as the treatment itself, when it comes to supporting our patients. We provide:


Kitchen and dining room
Therapy kitchen
Practice nurse clinic
Games room
Large social club with regular film nights/pool table/music
DVD and book library
Gym facilities
Sensory room
IT facilities
Art room
Quiet room


Our garden offers secure fencing, a patio area with furniture, a lawn, sensory items and planting areas.

Our bedrooms

All of our bedrooms are single-occupancy and have an en-suite bathroom. Patients are encouraged to personalise their bedrooms while they are staying with us.


We provide:


Anti-ligature furniture
Safe rooms
Windows with a view
Some rooms that are wheelchair-accessible with wet rooms
Access to second bedroom, providing a secondary relaxation space


We also have a range of specialist equipment within the hospital, including sensory rooms, sensory lighting, bean bags, interactive walls and an intensive care suite.

Exclusion profile

  • People under the age of 18
  • People with a severe learning disability


Priory’s network of high quality facilities enables us to offer joined-up care pathways with our dedicated residential services. We offer programmes which integrate healthcare treatment and therapy, which are tailored according to individual needs, in an appropriate setting. Our strength is that we can provide a seamless transition for the individual as they progress between higher and lower dependency services.

In the early stages of a person’s stay, the team at Priory Hospital Cardiff will work alongside the community team to consider the appropriate next steps, so that there is a shared understanding with the patient and their supporting team about what their moving on plan comprises of. Timeframes can then be considered and agreements made on the nature of proposed criteria for moving on.

Priory supports the learning disability and autism programme agenda by helping people with complex needs to lead active and fulfilling lives in their communities. As such, we will begin planning for our patients’ ongoing care from the moment they are admitted to our services, so they can be supported in the community as quickly as possible.

We can support the transition of people within our BTP environments to move towards community placements and assisted living services, offered as part of our Priory Adult Care Division. Our assessment and transition directors can assist by developing a personalised pathway for each patient. Their focus is to ensure a seamless transition into community living, along with supporting and identifying alternative options to meet the changing needs of each patient. Priory Hospital Cardiff has a robust pathway in place with Priory Adult Care, allowing people to successfully move into community-facing residential placements located across Cardiff and South Wales.

At Cardiff, we provide BTPs for autistic people and people with a learning disability. Individuals may present with complex and challenging needs, including aggression and sensory issues, and may benefit from the time and space to learn how to self-regulate their own emotions.

The core aim of our BTPs is to offer an environment with the least restrictive practices, where patients who are struggling in a group environment can develop their independence skills, enabling them to transition to community living, when possible.

BTP break down:

  • Willow – 1-bedded single sex unit for males or females over the age of 18 years old, detained under the Mental Health Act, diagnosed with a mental health disorder, autism and/or a mild learning disability
  • Elm - 1-bedded single sex unit for males or females over the age of 18 years old, detained under the Mental Health Act, diagnosed with a mental health disorder, autism and/or a mild learning disability
  • Maple – 2-bedded single sex unit for males or females over the age of 18 years old, detained under the Mental Health Act, diagnosed with a mental health disorder, autism and/or a mild learning disability

Contact us for help, referrals or more information

At Priory, we want to ensure we provide the very best service to each individual we support. Contact us for more information, or to make a referral.

Call Us
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Hear from patients and experts

Priory's secure services

About the local area


Priory Hospital Cardiff is located close to a variety of amenities, including:

  • Local park
  • Cinema
  • Shops and cafes
  • Library
  • Nearby college
  • Local leisure centre and sports facilities
  • Large town centre with shopping centre, market and high street stores

Transport links

It also offers excellent transport links, including:

  • A local bus stop, just along the street, providing access into and around Cardiff
  • A train station just under 1 mile away
  • The motorway network is nearby, via the M4, providing access to South Wales and South West England

A message from our site leader

At Priory Hospital Cardiff, we make every effort to work collaboratively with family members/carers as we believe this is an integral part of recovery. We aim to provide exceptional care and treatment, always ensuring your family member is central to this. Our highly experienced team will treat your family member with dignity, respect, and compassion at all times, always empowering them to make decisions around their care. With your family member’s consent, we will always welcome and appreciate your full involvement in their care

Priority Hospital Cardiff, site leader

Information for family and friends

How do home visits work?

We support people who are staying with us to attend family events and visit home. We will work with them and their relatives to ensure possible risks are managed and that everyone is supported.

What is your visitation policy?

Family and friends are welcome to visit and participate in activities at the service. We would ask for 24 hours’ notice so that arrangements can be made and there are no conflicts with the therapy programme. Please let us know in advance if you would like to eat with your loved one and our catering team will be able to accommodate this.

At Priory Hospital Cardiff, we recognise that it’s important for patients to maintain contact with their relatives, friends and representatives while they’re in hospital. Emphasis is placed upon maintaining links with the patient’s family and friends, according to the patient’s wishes, with social workers having an important role in liaising to maintain and strengthen these links.

All visitors are welcomed and made to feel comfortable. Visiting rooms are available outside of the clinical area. However, due to the bespoke nature of the wards, visits can take place on single occupancy wards if patients wish to show their visitors their living arrangements.

In regards to receiving visits from children, the general principle is that the child’s welfare is at the heart of our approach to managing child visits, whilst also taking into account the needs of the patient and relatives. The hospital has a written policy on the arrangement of patients receiving visits from children. A visit from a child should only take place following risk assessment and a decision that such a visit would be in the child’s best interests. Children must use the designated visitors’ room. All child visits are directly supervised by staff, who are situated in the room with the child. Because of the need to ensure the above, all visits by children should take place on a planned and arranged basis. This should be made clear to patients (and involved relatives/carers) on admission, or prior to admission.

Will I be involved and kept up to date with my loved one’s care and wellbeing?

Yes; we make every effort to keep the loved ones of our residents involved in their care. We promote family and friends’ involvement, and anyone is welcome to visit site before an admission, as well as while the person is staying with us. We can also arrange more regular catch ups if you would prefer, either in person or via telephone, to ensure you are kept informed. We also provide a thorough information pack for all our patients and families.

Will my loved one be able to have a phone or call me?

We have incoming phone lines, and there are phones at various points around the hospital, which can be used by people staying with us at any time. In addition, we can support our patients to use their own mobile phone, where appropriate and risk assessed.

What type of things are families expected to provide, and what is provided by the home?

Every bedroom will have a bed, bedding and basic furniture, such as a chest of drawers or wardrobe, a bedside table and additional personalised decor. Meals are provided by our catering team. We expect families to provide toiletries and clothing for their loved one.

What are the bedrooms like?

All of our bedrooms are furnished, and residents are supported to personalise them to suit their needs and wishes. They are all single person, en-suite rooms.

Are external doors kept locked?

Yes, our external doors are locked. However, everyone staying with us will be risk assessed which will detail the level of security needed. Each ward has its own garden area, which is open according to each individual’s needs and risks.

What do service users eat and how do meal times work?

We have a catering team who prepare meals twice times a day, and fresh fruit and healthy snacks are available at all times. People staying with us are supported to choose what they want to eat at mealtimes, and there is always a choice available, as well as easy-read menus. Our team will also seek guidance from family members and nutritionists to ensure that special dietary requirements are catered for.

Where appropriate, our occupational therapy team will support and encourage patients to shop and cook for themselves. We also cater for specific dietary requirements or preferences such as vegan, vegetarian, halal, kosher and gluten-free.

How does laundry work?

Our team will ensure that people staying us always have access to clean clothes and bedding. We have industrial laundry facilities on-site, which our team will take care of. Maple and Willow have access to a laundry room on the ward and Elm has access to laundry facilities from the therapy kitchen. People are supported to use the laundry as part of their independent living skills and can be supported with this.

Is there anything they can’t bring or have?

We would ask that people staying with us do not bring valuables, such as family heirlooms, to our hospital, as we cannot guarantee their safety. We may place restrictions on some items, where the risks cannot be appropriately managed, for example, scissors, medications and razors. A banned and restricted items list is displayed across site.

Are pets allowed?

No, unfortunately we do not allow live-in pets. However, we do have arranged visits for therapy pets and visits from a visiting animal roadshow.

How do activities work?

Everyone staying with us has a tailored activity planner. Our dedicated OT and therapy assistants organise a variety of activities, with input from residents. These include both in-house activities as well as visits into the community.

Do service users and families have an input into the service user’s care plans?

We work with healthcare professionals, family members and residents to develop care plans that are in the best interests of those staying with us. We use a variety of communication tools and work with health professionals to help each person staying with us have a say about every aspect of their care. Care plans are regularly reviewed, and family members will be asked for their input.

What are the car parking facilities?

We have a large car park on-site, with visitors’ spaces available.

What is the smoking policy? Can service users buy cigarettes?

Priory Hospital Cardiff is a non-smoking site. However, people staying with us can vape within their own rooms and outside of the hospital.

How is treatment accessed and funded?

We don’t take referrals directly from individuals and families. Instead, the first step will be for you to reach out to the person’s GP so that they can be referred and funded through the correct NHS channel. Depending on the type of support needed, this could include local authority funding, NHS funding, joint funding between the local authority and NHS, or direct payments. Please note, referrals for NHS or local authority funded services must come from a referring organisation.


Welsh location guide

How to make a referral

Our customer service centre provides 24/7 support for NHS mental health enquiries and referrals. Our customer referral co-ordinators can support you from your first call right through to the enquiry conclusion, providing updates throughout the process. We offer 24/7 crisis referrals, fast access to bed availability and placements, and a single access point for end-to-end enquiry management.

Call Us
Tap on a number to call
Make a referral