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Snowsfields Adolescent Unit (Maudsley Hospital)

How our service can help you

Snowsfields 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 pioneered the introduction of 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.

Around 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 uncertainty about diagnosis.

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: Maudsley Hospital Known As: Mapother House Phone Number: 020 3228 2200 or 020 3228 2207
  • Disabled Access:
    • All rooms are wheelchair accessible
    • There are lifts up to the fourth floor
    • Assisted showers and toilet facilities are available.
  • Address: Mapother House,
    Maudsley Hospital,
    Denmark Hill,
    SE5 8AZ
  • Business Hours/Visiting Hours:

    Business hours: 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Emergency referrals are accepted.

    Visiting times
    • Monday to Friday, 4 - 8pm
    • Saturday and Sunday. 10am - 8pm
  • 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 include:

  • Comprehensive mental state assessment
  • Psychological assessment and treatment
  • Access to individual and group art psychotherapy
  • Access to physical health assessment and appropriate treatment and advice
  • Risk assessment
  • Occupational therapy – therapeutic groups including specialist projects with partner agencies and specialist assessments including activities of daily living, functional, sensory and education or vocational. The ward’s occupational therapist is also the day patient coordinator
  • 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


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

Care Options


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. Regular 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.


Care option: Day treatment

Unit: Per day

Day treatment is used as a transition stage from inpatient to outpatient care, but may also be used as an alternative to admission. Day patients are offered an individual package of care, drawing on the regular daytime group and educational activities of the ward, as well as individual therapeutic input as needed. 


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