Posted on: 30 March 2020

CNWL as a whole has moved into Emergency Response for the overall needs of the local NHS in this Public Health Emergency.

For mental health services we are opening three ‘Hubs’ ((Mental Health Emergency Assessment Centres)) based at St Charles, Northwick Park and Hillingdon, to support our patients who present to A&E who need dedicated urgent mental health support.

Our Home Treatment Teams and Community Mental Health Teams continue to provide care as usual and will work seven days a week.

Inpatient services remain though The Gordon Hospital, in Westminster (which didn’t have open space or a garden), has closed (see

Mental Health patients and carers can still use our Single Point of Access, the 24 hour helpline for Urgent Advice about wellbeing.

We are taking these steps to centralise staffing for the mental health services to:

  • cover for staff who are off sick or isolating due to Covid-19  (over 1000 or about 16.2% of our staff)
  • redeploy staff into other services
  • Enhance emergency services to keep mental crises out of A&E departments.
  • Provide more community services to respond to the mental health need and the additional issues raised (much more anxiety and worry amongst patients and the general public) which our Talking Therapy services will be providing; a direction of travel we think should happen in mental health services in any case.

We are still offering face to face meetings to meet essential need but a lot of therapy and care is on line or on the phone to maintain social distancing or shielding of the very vulnerable and for patients who prefer that.

Mental health patients will have physical health care provided at a time when they may be mentally unwell too.

Health Based Places of Safety (s 136 Suites) remain open at St Charles, Riverside and Park Royal.

We know this situation puts a lot of strain on families and we are available to help in these extraordinary times. Together we will get through this. We are the NHS.