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National services

Child and adolescent services

National services

Child and adolescent services

National services

Child and adolescent services

National services

Child and adolescent services

Snowsfields Adolescent Unit

Location: Maudsley Hospital

Contact information:

Mapother House
Maudsley Hospital
Denmark Hill

020 3228 2200 or 020 3228 2207

Inpatient, day patient

11 inpatient beds and three day patient places

Referrals are accepted from:
Consultant psychiatrists, or mental health professionals with approval from their team consultant

Key areas: Any serious mental health problem that cannot be managed safely or effectively with outpatient care

Average length of inpatient treatment:
35 days, but with wide variation according to specific needs


We are an open adolescent unit offering mental health care for adolescents with a 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, including admissions under the Mental Health Act.

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 an 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 later if the risk has reduced.

We provide a 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 stepdown service and can sometimes be used to avoid admission altogether.

We also have close links with the Enhanced Treatment Service (ETS), an outreach team based in the same location. Referrals can be made to ETS for patients from the Lambeth, Southwark and Lewisham boroughs if inpatient care is no longer appropriate but a high level of support is required to maintain community functioning. ETS interventions can include day care attendance at Snowsfields and access to the same hospital school.