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Complex Needs Service

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Complex Needs Service

Complex Needs Service (CNS) is the tier 3 (specialist community) personality disorder service for Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire.

Approximately 95% of referrals will meet diagnostic criteria for Personality Disorder.  All treatment occurs in groups and CNS does not offer any one to one treatment.

We can only provide treatment for patients registered with GP practices who are members of either the Oxfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group or the Buckinghamshire Clinical Commissioning Group.

Our Oxfordshire service is for adults of working age whilst our Buckinghamshire service also provides services for older adults.

Our service also includes an 18-25 young adults service. If you have any enquiries related to the 18-25 pathway within the Complex Needs Service, please email

Service overview

Complex Needs Service provides a range of group therapy treatments running from between 2 to 15 hours a week.

We provide a locality based service in Abingdon, Adderbury near Banbury, Aylesbury, High Wycombe, Oxford and Witney.

There are also support groups for family and friends in both Aylesbury and Oxford.

What is Personality Disorder?

Personality disorder is a term which describes a set of problems that cause difficulties to a person and/or those around them over a prolonged period of time.

Those using our service will often be aware that they experience these problems and may have assumed nothing can be done or sought help in various places without finding much that makes a significant difference.

Many of these problems affect relationships and the ability to cope with stress.  Feelings that can be hard to handle may lead to unstable mood, periods of depression or anxiety, and desperate attempts to feel better, including self-destructive behaviours, drink or drugs, or difficulties controlling temper.

Other problems can include anxiety being around other people, feeling unable to cope, having difficulty getting along with people and coming across as rigid or distant.

Although it is rare to experience all of these problems, those engaging with our service will often struggle with a number of them.  They may also find it hard to maintain a tenancy, employment and/or relationships.

If these problems have been experienced on a long term basis, they are often referred to as personality traits, as they have become established ways of interacting, being and feeling.  If problems like this have a significant negative effect on someone’s life, they may suffer from a personality disorder.

Not everyone who is treated in the Complex Needs Service suffers from a personality disorder, but everyone in the service has long term problems of the sort described above.

For more information on personality disorder please see the following links:

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