Psychiatric intensive care unit (PICU) services

Our PICU service offers the assessment and management of high levels of risk and complexity to expedite stabilisation and promote recovery.

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Priory's experience of supporting people with complex needs and challenging behaviours, along with co-existing issues (such as substance misuse), puts our services at the forefront of specialised intensive care.

Our psychiatric intensive care unit (PICU) services have been developed over 20 years and support patients in a severe phase of illness, who cannot be managed in an acute or high dependency unit (HDU) service.

Service overview

  • Our staff teams have extensive experience in managing high levels of disturbance
  • We admit from a variety of settings, including from other PICUs
  • We provide a safe and therapeutic environment to manage high levels of risk, and safely yet swiftly start patients on their road to recovery
  • We focus on intensive, multidisciplinary and therapeutic programmes aimed at delivering evidence-based interventions, in order to rapidly reduce acute symptoms
  • We promote self-management and recovery
  • We aim to ensure a short length of stay, prior to transferring patients to a less restrictive environment, wherever possible
  • We provide rapid admission, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week

Referrals and admissions

Priory supports positive progression towards recovery for the following patients:

  • People who have challenging presentations that cannot be managed in open settings
  • Patients detained under the Mental Health Act (MHA)
  • People with a wide range of mental health conditions
  • People presenting with a risk of violence and aggression to others, and who are psychotic and unpredictable
  • Patients from other PICUs, prisons, police custody, secure services, acute services and the community

Same-day admission can be facilitated and we can assist in transferring the patient if needed. We can 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.


Service overview

PICU services near me

Contact us for help, referrals or more information

For further information on Priory services offered to the NHS, or to make a referral, please call our dedicated 24/7 customer service centre.

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Make a referral