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Bethlem Adolescent Unit (Bethlem Royal Hospital)

How our service can help you

Bethlem Adolescent Unit is an open adolescent unit, offering mental health care for adolescents with serious mental illness who require hospital admission. We have developed a national and international reputation for innovation and have a comprehensive, all hours emergency admission service.

The majority of the young people we treat are emergency admissions, however planned admissions can also be arranged. Admissions are accepted 24-hours a day, 365 days a year, and can be accepted under the Mental Health Act.

Approximately half of the young people admitted to our unit have psychosis. Others have problems relating to their mood, often posing a risk to themselves. We are also able to admit young people with a variety of other psychiatric or neurodevelopmental disorders, or where there is diagnostic uncertainty.

As we are an open unit, we are unable to admit young people who pose a level of risk that is not consistent with being cared for in such an environment. This judgement is always based on individual risk assessment rather than applying absolute exclusion criteria, and is reviewed regularly. People requiring care in a more secure setting can be admitted to the unit if the risk has altered.

We provide a broad range of interventions, which are delivered by a team of psychiatrists, psychologists, nurses, teachers, occupational therapists, social workers and other therapists.

We maintain close links with the person's referring team to ensure they experience a smooth transition back to the community. Day treatment is often used as a step-down service and can sometimes be used to avoid admission altogether.

  • Service Borough Covers: National (Child and Adolescent services) Treatment type: Inpatient
  • Contact the service

    Site Location: Bethlem Royal Hospital Phone Number: 020 3228 4160
  • Disabled Access:


  • Address: Bethlem Adolescent Unit
    Denis Hill Unit 2
    Bethlem Royal Hospital
    Monks Orchard Road
    Greater London,
    BR3 3BX
  • Business Hours/Visiting Hours:

    24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

  • Other essential information

  • Conditions: Anxiety, Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), Autism, Bipolar disorder, Conduct disorder, Depression, Dissociative disorders, Eating disorders, Learning disabilities, Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), Psychosis, Self-harm


Our interventions may include:

  • Comprehensive mental state assessment
  • Psychological assessment and treatment
  • Access to physical health assessment and appropriate treatment and advice
  • Risk assessment
  • Occupational therapy
  • Activity programme, including social and recreational activities, as well as therapeutic groups
  • Education provided onsite by professional teaching staff
  • Family work and psychoeducational support for families
  • Care planning, including working with the young person’s family and carers
  • Medication review and prescribing
  • Relapse prevention planning
  • Social work support, including assistance with benefits and housing

Eligibility criteria

  • Adolescents (12 years), up to 18 years old
  • Male or female
  • Mental illness or suspected mental illness that cannot be safely managed by outpatient services


  • Young people requiring a more secure environment
  • Moderate to severe learning difficulties


Our outcomes include:

  • Formulation and diagnosis
  • Stabilisation or resolution of mental health crisis
  • Readiness for re-integration into education, or plans for alternative training and development
  • Readiness to resume outpatient psychiatric care
  • Relapse prevention strategies
  • Improved general wellbeing
  • Comprehensive admission, care plan approach and discharge summaries

Care Options

Inpatient & Outpatient

Care option: Assessment and treatment

Unit: Occupied bed days

Description: A multidisciplinary assessment is undertaken to create an individual treatment plan, which is reviewed regularly throughout the stay. Psychiatric reviews, nursing supervision, routine physical health monitoring and access to ward-based educational, recreational and therapeutic groups are provided for all patients.

Close links are maintained with referring teams to ensure a smooth transition from inpatient care to the community. Discharge planning is undertaken using the care programme approach.