Psychiatric Intensive Care (PICU) for men and women

Live PICU update

We update our PICU bed stats every weekday morning. We admit/discharge 24 hours a day so our bed updates are subject to change.  Please contact us directly, especially over the weekend, if we are showing limited availability.

10:40am 28 March
Beds Available:

Sherwood, Male, Northampton Call 01604 616 111

Audley, Male, Essex Call 01268 723 929/30

Frinton, Female, Essex Call 01268 723 860/63

St Andew's PICU locations, Sherwood, Frinton, Audley

  • One call, quick decision in one hour
  • Enhanced support for initial 7 days
  • Medication included whilst on the unit
  • No admittance fee
  • Discharge planning with dedicated social worker
  • 7 days of medication on discharge from facility
  • Member of NAPICU

Our PICU services provide high quality, psychiatric intensive care in clinically safe and supportive environments at the UK’s leading charitable provider of specialist care to the NHS.

We provide high quality, tailored treatment programs which are developed to recognize each individual’s strengths, needs and risks, with specific emphasis on treating mental illness and starting the recovery process.

Making a PICU referral

Audley is a 14 bed male only unit based in Essex

To make a referral call 01268 723 929/30

Frinton is a 12 bed female only unit based in Essex

To make a referral call 01268 723 860/63

Sherwood is a 12 bed male only unit based in Northampton

To make a referral call 01604 616 111

The PICU services are gender specific and therefore accept either male or female patients who:

  • are aged 18-65 years
  • are suffering from an acute mental illness, a relapse of an enduring mental illness or an exacerbation of a chronic mental illness
  • may be displaying challenging behaviours as a result of a mental illness
  • demonstrate significant risk, including aggression to self and others, absconding and / or vulnerability
  • require relatively short-term intensive care in a safe environment
  • have been detained under the Mental Health Act 1983 (as amended by the Mental Health Act 2007).

Our PICU services are conveniently located at the heart of an excellent road network which are easily accessible on major transport routes:

Northampton- 10 minutes from M1

Essex- 15 minutes from M25

For directions or alternative travel routes visit our Northampton and Essex page.


Our PICU process


You identify the need for a PICU admission and contact St Andrew's.


We carry out an initial telephone based assessment of need and risk and aim to reach a decision regarding an admission within the hour.


Admission to our male or female PICU service is coordinated.


Assessment, stabilisation and discharge planning begin at the point of admission.


Regular telephone contact ensures consistent planning of the care pathway.


A range of assessment and risk evaluation tools and a multidisciplinary team (MDT) treatment plan are completed within seven days.


Evidence-based recovery and treatment is delivered by a full MDT comprising psychiatrists, psychologists, nursing staff, occupational therapists and social workers, with access to dietitians, gym instructors, teachers and other healthcare professionals.


We work closely with the patient, carers and referrers at the time of discharge to make the transition timely and as seamless as possible.