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  • External CQC

    Trust rated Good by Health Regulator

    South West London and St George’s Mental Health NHS Trust today (12 June 2018) welcomed the Care Quality Commission’s (CQC) findings which rated the Trust Good across all five domains inspected.

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    Enter our digital photography competition - #upliftingimage

    We are, once again, launhing our popular #upliftingimage digital photography competition. The theme this year is Contentment - what does it mean to you. We want to reach out to more people than ever before to challenge the stigma and discrimination still associated with mental health. The competition closes on October 10, 2018.

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    Developing world class mental health facilities

    FInd out more about our plans to develop two new hospitals at Springfield and Tolworth

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    Celebrating 70 years of the NHS

    Come and join us on 5 July from 4.30 – 6.30 pm at Springfield University Hospital as we celebrate 70 years of the NHS.

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The Mental Health Act

The Mental Health Act

The Mental Health Act (the Act) is the main piece of legislation guiding the compulsory inpatient admission and treatment of people with mental health problems in England and Wales.

At any one time around one in six people are experiencing symptoms of mental illness and one in four people will experience mental health problems at some time in their lives(Department of Health). The vast majority of these will be treated on an outpatient basis.

You might find that being taken to hospital against your will is stressful and upsetting. If you are detained under the Mental Health Act and wish to appeal, our staff will help you. The ward you are on will have a list of mental health solicitors who will be able to advise you. In most cases, you can get free legal representation at your tribunal or managers’ hearing under the Legal Aid scheme. You may find it useful to get support from an Independent Mental Health Advocate (IMHA).

The guiding principles

The Act prioritises clear communication and thorough explanation of patients’ rights and circumstances, especially where they have been detained.

There are principles which should be considered when making decisions under the Act:

  • Least restrictive option and maximising independence
  • Empowerment and involvement
  • Respect and dignity
  • Purpose and effectiveness
  • Efficiency and equity

Detention under the Act

People may be detained under the Act following (in most cases) an application by an approved mental health professional (who will usually be a specially trained social worker) based on two medical recommendations from appropriately qualified doctors.

A person can only be detained if they appear to be suffering from a mental disorder and present a risk to their own health and safety or to others.

The nearest relative

A patient who is detained under the Act will normally have an identified nearest relative. This is not the same as a person’s next of kin, but is identified by means of a strict procedure set out in the Act.

A person’s nearest relative must be consulted prior to their detention and if a nearest relative objects to the patient being placed on section 3, the detention cannot go ahead, unless the nearest relative is displaced, which can only happen if the County Court agrees that certain conditions are met.

Support in a crisis

Support in a crisis

Every person who uses our services receives an assessment of their mental health needs and a plan of the care and support they will receive. This is called a care plan and you will be given a copy to keep.

Every care plan includes a crisis plan that helps to identify possible early warning signs of a crisis, explore the use of coping strategies and support to reduce the crisis and prevent hospitalisation. They also identify your practical needs if you are admitted to hospital.

If you are experiencing a crisis and you need help, the first person to contact is your named professional or care co-ordinator. If it is urgent and they are not available, ask for the duty manager.

If you are a current patient of ours and you need help at night or on weekends/bank holidays you can call our mental health support line.

Our telephone support line offers emotional support and advice to patients and their carers who are affected by mental health issues.

  • Contact us on 0800 028 8000

In an emergency, if you are worried about your immediate safety or have thoughts about hurting yourself or other people:

If you are not currently a patient of ours you should speak to your GP (family doctor).

Recovery Cafes

Are you struggling with your mental health and finding it difficult to cope?

Come along to one of our Recovery Cafés for a safe and supportive space. There’s no need for an appointment, just turn up and you’ll be met by a listening ear, and benefit from companionship and from engaging in therapeutic support. The cafes also provide:

  • Group activities
  • One- to-one support
  • Chill out space
  • Advice, information & signposting
  • Hot meals and drinks
  • Drop in from local mental health teams

Our Recovery cafes are based in Tooting and Wimbledon but are there to help adults (18 years+) with mental health issues from the South London boroughs of Wandsworth, Merton, Sutton, Richmond and Kingston.  You don't need to book or have a formal referral. You just need to turn up. You can also ring ahead if you need any support around travelling to the café or would like to speak with a member of staff beforehand.

Opening Hours:  Monday to Friday 6pm - 11pm, Saturday Sunday and Bank holidays 12noon - 11pm

The Cafés will close at 11:00pm promptly each night and customers will be supported to plan their journey home during their visit to the Cafés.

Please note: The cafés do not provide accommodation and are not designed to support young people under 18 years old or those under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

Tooting Recovery Cafe
966 Garratt Lane, London SW17 0ND or call 07794 394 920
Sunshine Recovery Café
296a Kingston Rd, London SW20 8LX or call 07908 436 617

The Lotus Assessment Suite

If you, or a family member, experiences a mental health crisis you may find that you are referred to the Lotus Assessment Suite. 

The Lotus Assessment Suite provides a safe and stable, calming environment away from A&E which allows mental health staff to undertake more detailed and informed assessments of people experiencing a mental health crisis and to agree what the best follow up support for them will be.

The time and space that the suite offers gives patients time to think through the immediate crisis and the sort of help they need to recover, both over the short and longer term.

It also gives staff time to carry out an informed assessment, create a collaborative, tailored treatment plan and make appropriate arrangements for on-going support in the community where feasible.

The assessment suite is not a ward and does not have beds but we will ensure your comfort, privacy and dignity through:

  • Meals and Snacks
  • Access to shower/bathroom facilities
  • Recliner chairs enabling people to rest/sleep as required

Referrals to the Lotus Assessment Suite will mainly come from within acute hospitals’ liaison psychiatry service and the mental health Street Triage team in partnership with the police and ambulance services. It is also possible for referrals to be made from Crisis and Home Treatment Teams.

pdf Download the service leaflet (773 KB)

Keeping well

Keeping well

We are committed to providing the best care and support for you not only for your mental health but your physical wellbeing too.

People with mental health problems and learning disabilities are at increased risk of developing physical illness, especially heart disease and diabetes. This is due to a combination of factors including the effects of medication, smoking and lack of exercise.

Physical health problems can often affect your mental health so that is why we want to ensure we offer you the right support and help in order for a speedy recovery. 

Why is physical health important?

Whether on the ward or in the community, the team need to get a good idea of how healthy you are when you first come into hospital and may need to monitor your physical health throughout your stay. This is important, as sometimes physical health conditions may be causing or contributing to your mental health symptoms. Therefore assessing your physical health is just as important as assessing your mental health.

  • It helps us to identify and treat any early signs of physical health problems you may have.
  • It helps us to prevent or treat any physical health problems associated with medicines you take for your mental health condition.
  • We may need to continue with any care and treatment you may have been getting from your family doctor or another hospital service before you came into hospital.
  • We can help by putting you in touch with a GP if you do not already have one..



Medicine information

Medicine information

Mental health treatment covers a range of things people can do to get more control and a better quality of life.

Taking medication is the most common health care intervention. There is a wide range of information on choosing medicines for mental health in a wide range of illnesses and different medicines available.

Information is available in a variety of different languages from mental health teams or from your mental health pharmacist by calling 020 3513 6829 or emailing

Rethink has a leaflet that might help you choose your medication.

Medicines Optimisation is the best use of medicines to produce the best outcomes for patients and enables recovery. To understand how we are doing this look at our Medicines Optimisation Strategy.




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