Priory Hospital Marlow

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About this location

Located in High Wycombe, near to the towns of Marlow and Maidenhead, Priory Hospital Marlow supports the NHS by offering specialist eating disorder services for adults. The grounds and facilities at Marlow have been specifically designed to provide a safe and therapeutic environment for those we support.

We are fully accredited with the Quality Network for Eating Disorders (QED).

Services at a glance

Adult ED

14 beds, male and female, 18+

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Priory Hospital Marlow 309 Cressex Road High Wycombe HP12 4QF

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Priory is the UK's largest independent provider of adult eating disorder services and we pride ourselves on offering quality, personalised treatment for every person we support.

Ward break down

  • 14-bedded ward for adult males and females

Conditions treated

We are able to support people with a primary diagnosis of an eating disorder. These include:

  • Anorexia nervosa
  • Bulimia nervosa
  • Other specified feeding or eating disorders (OSFED)

Referrals will be considered for needs including, but not limited to, the following:

  • Those suffering from a suspected eating disorder
  • Those experiencing significant difficulty maintaining a healthy weight in a community setting
  • Those who have found that alternative community-based interventions are no longer appropriate or effective

Treatment approaches

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

The philosophy of the hospital is one of collaboration and mutual respect. We work to create this atmosphere by listening to the needs of people staying with us and adopting a flexible approach that allows individual needs to be met, whenever possible. We adhere to clear, consistent boundaries whose rationale is transparent to patients, families and staff alike. We believe this sets up an environment of safety, which allows trust to develop so that patients can explore feelings fully, knowing that they will be empathically received.

Our assessment and treatment options are overseen by a full and diverse multidisciplinary team (MDT). Upon their arrival, patients can expect and individual assessment by our consultant clinical psychologist within 7 working days. The consultant psychologist will assess and discuss treatment plans and pathways and assign a therapist to the patient appropriate needs. Patients will also be offered group therapy on our graded activity programme and the therapist will discuss readiness with the patient. Groups offer a unique opportunity to share and reflect on experiences and to learn skills.

Therapy approaches include:

  • CBT
  • DBT
  • Acceptance therapy
  • Art therapy
  • Family therapy
  • Informed schema-focused therapy
  • Graded exposure therapy

Our team

Our highly experienced, multidisciplinary team consists of:
  • Consultant psychiatrist
  • Specialty doctor
  • Principle clinical psychologist
  • Registered mental health nurses
  • Healthcare assistants
  • Dietitian
  • Occupational therapist (OT)
  • Therapy assistant
  • Social worker
  • Advocate
  • Access to chiropody, dental, and optician services

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. This includes:

  • Yoga
  • Trips to the nearby leisure centre
  • Volunteering shifts
  • Mindfulness / TED talks / current affairs group
  • Food focused groups: cooking lunch, snack out, portioning sessions, baking group, unsupervised snack group, snack to common
  • Creative groups
  • Weekly scheduling and coffee and chit-chat
  • Dietetic forum
  • Home leave clinic
  • Breakfast club (once a month)
  • Physical health clinic with ward doctor
  • Music therapy sessions
  • Walks and leave off ward dependent on patient

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


Our garden offers a lawn area.

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


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.

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

Learn about Priory eating disorder services

About the local area


There are a range of shops, parks, sights and restaurants for you to visit locally on leave and with family/friends/carers.

In addition to these we are lucky to be close to the lovely riverside town of Marlow which is good for a local walk and break off the ward. Busses are available to Marlow as well as the Eden Shopping Centre in High Wycombe. You are also able to book your own taxis.

If you are looking for somewhere in particular please speak to the team and they will direct you.

Transport links

We also have good transport links. We are:

Taxis can be provided for therapy meetings as part of your treatment. Bookings can only be made by a nurse in charge, or the Ward Manager. In all circumstances, our driver should be the first to be booked for any transfers. Please ensure that all bookings are made for the correct time.

Transfers covered under your care:

  • Hospital trips
  • A&E
  • Ward trips
  • Volunteering

Transfers at own cost: chargeable (cash taxi)

  • Dentist
  • Opticians
  • Bank trips
  • Weekend leave
  • Shops

A message from our site leader

Priory Hospital Marlow provides a safe, caring and compassionate service for adults with a wide range of eating disorders. Patients are at the centre of everything we do and they are actively involved and have a significant say in the way we run and manage the hospital. Core to our success as a service delivering positive outcomes, is a highly skilled and experienced MDT, supported by a dedicated catering team who work closely with patients to deliver quality appetising food to support recovery.

I don’t know where I would be without you. Thank you all, from the bottom of my heart, for helping me to grow and get my life back and for giving me hope’’
Charlotte, former patient
We dropped our daughter off at your doorstep, lifeless and broken. We had lost all hope and were devastated that it had got to this point…. Thanks to all your hard work, a miracle happened. Kayleigh* is returning to us not only healthy but with a new mind-set that we have never seen before. We cannot express enough how grateful we are for each and every one of you – to everyone who has contributed to her care. We will never forgot the people who were part of this outstanding team, and the kind words you have said to us in times when we needed to hear it the most. I’m sure you will all change so many more lives and repair the broken families who would do anything to see their loved ones get better. Keep doing what you are doing by providing this gold standard care. Thank you all so much for everything. I have got my daughter back!
Parent of former patient

Information for family and friends

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.

Do you provide any specialist staff training for your staff?

Yes. This includes:

  • 4 days intensive eating disorder training
  • NG feed training
  • Skills training to manage complex patients
  • Autism based training

What placement length is offered? e.g. short term, long-term

Average stay for most patients is 3 to 6 months. There is a focus on patient recovery and we understand that every individual is different. Some patients may require longer admissions to get well and others may require very short admissions and continue treatment back home. We promote shorter admissions where possible.

Is there any specialist equipment/facilities/adaptations?

We have disabled access and facilities and can easily adapt the environment to meet individual needs.

What features do your bedrooms have?

All bedrooms are en-suite and you will be supported to make your room as comfortable as possible. All rooms have televisions, built in wardrobe space, desk space with a chair and a bed. We encourage patients to bring comfortable bedding and items to make it feel more ‘homely’. In order for us to manage and maintain a safe ward environment, you may be asked to move bedrooms during your stay but this will be discussed with you.

What is your visitation policy?

We encourage patients to prioritise their treatment and the programme on offer and therefor request that all visits are arranged outside of regular programme hours. Patients are also expected to have meals in the dining room and visits should accommodate this.

Visits are encouraged after 5pm on weekdays and patients are also encouraged to rest and go to bed at a reasonable time and we request that visits are planned to accommodate this.

Weekend visits are flexible and we encourage families to keep in touch regularly with their loved ones.

How do home visits work?

We encourage patients to allow themselves some time to adjust and settle onto the ward. Leave requests can be made during your ward round and will be considered based on risk, therapeutic value, wellbeing, family/carer requests, treatment phase and personal factors.

Leave is decided on an individual basis and we will discuss this with you in detail to allow you to feel safe and confident when on leave. Leave is planned with various members of your team and risk assessments are completed prior to leave off the ward. This is to support you and keep you safe.

Patients detained under the Mental Health Act need to request leave during their ward round. The consultant will discuss this with you and complete all necessary documentation. Please speak to your named nurse about your leave arrangements if this applies to you.

There is a signing-in and out book for you to sign before you leave the ward and upon your return.

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

We encourage all patients to remain in regular contact with their loved ones during their stay.

We encourage regular visits and will help you create opportunities to spend with your loved ones.

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

You may use your mobile phone, although they are not permitted in therapy groups or the dining room. We would respectfully ask that mobile phones are to be used in communal lounges and your bedroom.

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

Carers are provided with information sheet at pre-admission.

What are the bedrooms like?

We have 14 bedrooms and all bedrooms have an ensuite.

Are external doors kept locked?

Yes, Priory Marlow is a locked unit.

What do service users eat and how does meal time work?

Meals are served at the following times:

  • Breakfast: 8:30am
  • Morning snack: 10:30am
  • Lunch: 12:30 pm
  • Afternoon snack: 3:30pm
  • Dinner: 6pm
  • Evening snack: 8.30pm

We offer a 4-weekly menu designed by our dietitian and prepared fresh daily by the catering team. You are able to choose your meals with the support of our dietetic and nursing staff.

How does laundry work?

A laundry room is available for your use. Detergent is supplied by the ward but patients are welcome to use their own preferred brands if needed.

Is there anything they can’t bring or have?

On admission, patients are given a list of restricted items to support a safe and  therapeutic environment. A full list of restricted items this will be given to patient prior to admission.

Are pets allowed?

Pets are not allowed to stay at the hospital, however we facilitate family pets, such as a dog, visiting. We ask for these visits to be pre-arranged and with the approval of the MDT.

How do activities work?

This is arranged with the occupational therapy team according to your treatment plan.

Can you accommodate disabilities?

We strive to meet all of our clients’ individual needs and we offer pre-admission appointments to help us make an informed decision and to be able to provide necessary equipment or make special arrangements if necessary.

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

Yes, we work in a collaborative manner with families and friends that have been identified by our patients as involved in the patients care, however we are very respectful of confidentiality and data protection.

What are the car parking facilities?

The hospital has ample parking spaces for visitors and staff and has a dedicated space for ambulances and one disabled space for blue badge holders.

Patients are advised not to keep their cars parked on the grounds during their stay, nor to drive during inpatient care, due to potential associated risks from medication. We advise our patients to be dropped off by friends or family, or to arrive by taxi where possible, on admission.

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

Priory operates a no smoking policy on all of its sites.


A parent's story

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