skip to main content
Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust Southern Health Covid-19 Service Changes

A Review of Access to Psychiatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU)

A Review of Access to Psychiatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU)


  • Improving the flow in and out of PICU beds      

  • Reviewing and bringing about improvements in the processes

  • Improving patient and carer experience


  • Length of time taken to agree PICU is required

  • Length time taken for service user to access timely care

  • Extended length of stay in PICU

  • Poor patient and carer experience

  • Bureaucratic burden on staff

  • High level of non value added activity/tasks

  • Environmental Concerns  (de-escalation & female PICU)

  • Use of private PICU

picu attendees.jpg

The Rapid Process Improvement Workshop brought staff and service users together where a number of key areas for improvement were identified:

  • To improve understanding across different services of what a PICU is
  • To allow nursing staff to make informed decisions about referrals
  • To reduce inappropriate referrals to PICU
  • To promote better communication between acute mental health wards and PICU settings   


  • Improved patient and staff experience
  • Clearly defined PICU provision
  • Defined pathway with clarity around timescale, responsibility and expectations
  • Reduced staff time on non-value added activity
  • Streamlined process and collaborative working across organisations
  • Improved access and reduction in private PICU beds


Page Comments