We ask you to provide a lot of information before we decide whether to offer you an assessment meeting.  This helps us to focus our service on those who are most likely to benefit and to keep our charges low. About 50-60% of patients who are referred go on to have an assessment.

If we do not get complete information at any stage this always causes delays.

You will need to have an email address that we can use to communicate with you or those who care for you.

Our email address is

Our postal address is

Referrals, Ketamine Clinic,
Interventional Psychiatry,
Warneford Hospital,
Roosevelt Drive


There are two stages before an assessment meeting can happen:

  • Stage one: Before we can offer an assessment we need to receive a referral letter and some background documents (see below)
  • Stage two: If we offer you an assessment, we need you to complete on-line questionnaires  before the meeting.

Non-urgent advice: Stage one documents

  1. A fully completed Patient Essential Background Information Form which can be found here.
  2. A referral letter from your GP or psychiatrist.  You need to arrange for us to receive this.
  3. A copy of your NHS GP summary sheet. If your GP is referring you, they should include this with the letter.  If you are referred by a psychiatrist, we still need this summary from your GP.  If you do not have a GP (for example, if you live outside the UK or have only used private specialists), the referring doctor must include all the following details which would be included on the GP summary sheet:
    1. all your current medication
    2. all previous psychiatric medication taken in the last 5 years
    3. all admissions to hospital (both physical and psychiatric) within last 5 years (or ever, if none in last 5 years)
    4. all physical illnesses within last 5 years and any serious illnesses prior to that.

If the answer to any of 3a to 3d is ‘None’, then this must explicitly be mentioned in the referral letter. Please make sure that your referring doctor has this information and includes it.  We cannot process the referral until we have a clear written statement about these items.

  1. Copies of the last 3 years’ correspondence about your mental health, such as letters from other psychiatrists or mental health teams. Summaries and assessment letters from before 3 years ago are also particularly helpful. If your referrer does not have these letters about your previous contact with mental health services, please request copies of such material from those services and forward them to the doctor who you wish to refer to us.

Once we have received and reviewed this information, we will send you an email to let you know whether or not we are able to offer you an assessment.

Non-urgent advice: Stage two questionnaires

If we offer you an assessment meeting, you will need to complete on-line questionnaires  before that meeting.

We will register you for the two systems we use:

  • True Colours – for you to record your mood every day
  • Patients Know Best (PKB) – for other questionnaires

It is essential that you start using True Colours at least 7 days before your appointment.

You must also complete all the forms within PKB at least 7 days before your appointment.

If we do not get complete information at any stage this always causes delays.

Criteria for treatment

Patients must:

Normally you should not take ketamine if you have:

The assessment meeting

Assessments are usually done online by Teams.  However, if you prefer, we can meet you at the Warneford Hospital.  Because you have provided lots of information ahead of the meeting, these assessments usually take only 60-90 minutes.  If you are happy for us to talk with someone who is supporting you we like to do this, but this is not essential.

The assessment will be with an experienced psychiatrist.  This may be with Professor Rupert McShane who leads the team, another consultant psychiatrist, or an experienced  clinical fellow.

Before this meeting, we will

  • review the documents received from your referrer
  • review the PKB forms
  • review the True Colours monitoring data

At this meeting, we will

  • talk to you in detail about your depression and your situation
  • assess and help you to manage your expectations of treatment
  • make sure you are fully aware of the risks and benefits of treatment
  • ask whether you are happy to be contacted about future research

The doctor who you meet will tell you whether they judge that the treatment would be suitable in your case.

After the assessment meeting

We will arrange dates for the first series of infusions, or give you more time to consider the information you have heard before you make your decision.

Depending on waiting times, there may be a significant delay before your infusions can be scheduled. Typically, the initial treatment is a series of three to six intravenous infusions.  This is usually enough to establish if you are a ‘responder’ and if you will be able to benefit from ketamine over a longer period.

We will also send you a link for a treatment consent form on PKB. This confirms that you have read the information leaflet, which exactly reflects the content of this website, that you understand the possible side effects, and that you recognise that ketamine is not licensed for the treatment of depression.

We will write to the doctor who referred you, copying in yourself and other doctors currently involved in your care unless you direct otherwise.

You will receive an email with a letter attached detailing the dates and times of your ketamine appointments.

Non-urgent advice: Downloadable information

This PDF contains all the text on the website, used for consent.

Page last reviewed: 5 March, 2024