Phone numbers
To place a referral: 0800 090 1356
General enquiries: 0800 138 8680
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Priory's Acute, High Dependency and Psychiatric Intensive Care Services

Priory’s specialist inpatient acute, high dependency unit (HDU) and psychiatric intensive care unit (PICU) teams are committed to providing the highest quality of care. We help support patients with a wide range of mental health conditions in therapeutic and supportive environments.

Service overview

  • Immediate focus on discharge planning for positive end goals
  • Seamless transitions into higher dependency, community living, complex care services or back home, reflecting individual needs
  • Highest quality of care for a wide range of mental health conditions
  • Emergency placements 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
  • Flexible treatment plans to meet individual needs

With an expert multidisciplinary team at all sites, we provide a swift and appropriate response to meet the needs of each individual, as highlighted in our acute service outcomes:

  • 94% of our patients were satisfied with the overall quality of care
  • 95% of patients felt that staff were caring and supportive and communicated well with them
  • 94% of patients felt listened to and understood by staff

(Priory Healthcare Quality Account 2017/18)

Our approach

Our aim is to assist any patient within our Acute, HDU or PICU Services, to understand and treat their condition, using National Institute of Clinical Excellence (NICE) approved interventions that help to recognise and prevent triggers for relapse. Our psychiatrists and therapists encourage patients to fully engage with their treatment programme.

All treatments provided are flexible to meet requirements and personal circumstances, and may include:

  • Medication reviews and interventions
  • Psychological intervention
  • Management of self-harm and hostility
  • Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) interventions where appropriate
  • Management of physical health care needs
  • Formulating problems/diagnosis using a biopsychosocial model
  • Crisis planning and relapse prevention
  • Anxiety management
  • Practical help with basics of daily living skills
  • Problem solving

We provide personalised treatment programmes in safe, calming and comfortable environments for those with the most complex of care needs.

Acute services

We work closely with referring NHS Trusts and Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) to achieve minimum lengths of stay for patients and work collaboratively with discharge teams to strive for a smooth transition back into existing community services, or to an individual’s home where possible.

For more information on our acute services, including who we support, please click here

HDU services

Priory’s HDU services offer 24 hours a day, 7 days a week crisis inpatient admissions and provide the least restrictive environments to our patients to ensure safety, whilst promoting privacy and dignity. In our HDU services we treat any underlying conditions with the use of medication, as well as psychological therapies, to reduce levels of arousal and distress.

Treatment is provided to patients who cannot be managed safely on an acute ward, but do not meet the threshold for admission to a psychiatric intensive care unit (PICU).

For more information on our HDU services, please click here

PICU services

Our psychiatric intensive care services are adept at dealing with patients in a severe phase of illness, who cannot be managed on an acute or HDU service. Our staff teams have extensive experience in managing high levels of disturbance, allowing our PICUs to admit from a variety of settings, including from other PICUs.

For more information on our PICU services, including details on who we can support, please click here

Priory accepts referrals from a variety of public sector and independent organisations throughout the UK. These include:

  • NHS provider trusts
  • CCGs
  • Community mental health teams
  • High secure hospitals
  • Medium secure hospitals
  • Psychiatric hospitals
  • Prisons and courts
  • Social services and the police

All our hospitals have specific admission criteria relevant to the service and support they offer.

Same-day admission can be facilitated and we can assist in transferring the patient if required. We are able to accept referrals 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Urgent or out-of-hours appointments and admissions can be arranged immediately by telephoning our dedicated service centre.

Please note, unfortunately we are unable to take self-referrals for NHS services. For treatment to be funded through the NHS, this will need to be discussed with a GP or a care co-ordinator.

Enquiries and Referrals

For further information on Priory services offered to the NHS, or to make a referral, please call our dedicated 24/7 customer service centre on 0800 090 1356. Alternatively, click here to submit an enquiry form

To make a placement

Call our 24/7 referral line

0800 090 1356
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NHS 24/7 Emergency Placements

The Priory is ready to take emergency placements 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for adult acute mental health, adult eating disorders, CAMHS and PICU. To make a referral please call us on

0800 090 1356
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Adult Acute, HDU & PICU
Acute Inpatient Services
High Dependency Units - (HDUs)
Psychiatric Intensive Care Units - (PICUs)
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