Kent and Medway Adolescent Unit

Location: Staplehurst, Tonbridge, Kent
Mode: Inpatient
Beds: Ash Ward – 12, Oak Ward – 12
Referrals are accepted from: Consultant psychiatrists, GP, consultant paediatricians, mental health professionals, GP consortia

Key areas: Autism spectrum disorders, eating disorders, learning disabilities, mood disorders, neurodevelopmental disorders, obsessive compulsive disorder, psychiatric problems, psychosis, self-harm, suicide attempt


We are an open adolescent unit, offering mental health care for adolescents with a serious mental illness who require hospital admission. We work alongside our sister units that have developed national and international reputations for innovation, including the introduction of a comprehensive, all hours emergency admission service.

We are able to admit both planned and emergency admissions. Admissions are accepted 24-hours a day, 365 days a year, and can be accepted under the Mental Health Act.

Some young people who are admitted to our unit may have an eating disorder, others may 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, family therapists and other therapists.

We maintain close links with the young 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.

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