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Child and Adolescent PICU (Bethlem Royal Hospital)

How our service can help you

We are a Psychiatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) for adolescents between the ages of 12 to 18 years old. Our unit is part of the South London Partnership, and is located within the heart of south London at the Bethlem Royal hospital.

The CAMHS Adolescent PICU is an 8-bedded mixed-sex unit for young people with an acute mental health illness who cannot be safely cared for on a general adolescent unit.

The unit offers access to PICU beds to the local population of South London, however will also offer access to those young people from all other areas if the admission criteria is met and beds are available.

Our unit provides short, focused admissions (six to eight weeks) to decrease the level of risk so that the young person may be transferred back to a less restrictive environment.

We treat young people experiencing severe mental health problems, and who require a hospital admission within a more intensive and secure setting. All of the young people admitted to our unit will be detained under the Mental Health Act 1983.

Should the young person's level of risks exceed that which can be safely managed on a PICU, or their level of risk is continuing beyond a reasonable period, they may be transferred to a low or medium secure unit for on-going treatment.

We offer a broad range of treatments, including medication, cognitive behaviour therapy, group work, psycho educational family work, systemic family work and art psychotherapy. Our multi-disciplinary team is made up of psychiatrists, psychologists, nurses, teachers, occupational therapists, social workers and other therapists.

A 24-hour, seven day a week emergency admission service is offered for both new presentations to services via A&E, the police, or for those requiring transfer from general adolescent units within the South London Partnership.

We maintain close links with the person's referring team to ensure they experience a smooth transition back to the local General Adolescent unit or in some cases straight to the community. Our ward is part of the larger CAMHS inpatient care pathway across the South London Partnership, which includes crisis care, generic adolescent inpatient care and a supported discharge service.

The South London Partnership (SLP) is a collaboration between South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust, Oxleas NHS Foundation Trust and South West London and St George's NHS Foundation Trust. The SLP aims to provide a local Tier 4 CAMHS provision across South London to avoid admissions out of area to private hospitals.

  • Service Borough Covers: Lambeth, Lewisham, Southwark, Croydon, Bromley, Bexley, Greenwich, Merton, Wandsworth, Sutton, Kingston Treatment type: Inpatient
  • Contact the service

    Site Location: Bethlem Royal Hospital Known As: CAMHS PICU Phone Number: 020 3228 4220 or 020 3228 4757
  • Disabled Access: Yes
  • Address: Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services,
    Denis Hill Unit,
    Bethlem Royal Hospital,
    Monks Orchard Road,
    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, Learning disabilities, Neuropsychiatry, Personality disorders, Psychosexual, Psychosis, Self-harm


Our interventions 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



  • Young people whose level of risk indicates that they require a low or medium secure unit


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 well-being
  • Comprehensive admission, care plan approach and discharge summaries
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