Work to build a new eight-bed psychiatric intensive care unit (PICU) at the Warneford Hospital is well underway.

The  building, supported by NHS England/Improvement funding, will enable young people experiencing the most acutely disturbed phase of a serious mental disorder to receive specialist help closer to home. The unit will also have a seclusion suite, de-escalation room, school rooms and an outside gym and sports area.

The PICU will provide a safe and supportive environment whilst young people are in the most acute and vulnerable stage of their illness. An assessment of mental health needs will be undertaken.

The unit’s core model is positive behavioral support (PBS) and other interventions will be considered for young people including medication, individual and group psychological therapies and family support as recommended by the NICE guidance, and dependent on clinical need.

The unit will provide a safe and nurturing environment which includes provision of recreational facilities and access to education. Patients will have access to professionally qualified staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week offering skilled mental and physical health care. There will be an interactive and sociable environment where everyday communication between young people and staff is encouraged.

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Page last reviewed: 17 August, 2022