Hertfordshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust
as one

Forest House - Radlett

Forest House is our CAMHS Inpatient unit at HPFT.


Contact Information:

Forest House

Forest Lane
Kingsley Green
Harper Lane, Radlett, WD7 9HQ
Tel: 01923 289940

To see our clinic on the map and get directions please click here.

Parking is available on site just outside our building or across the road outside Kingfisher court.

What are the rules around confidentiality?

All information about you and your family will be treated in the strictest confidence by the staff. Information will usually be given to people working outside the unit only with your or your parent’s agreement/consent, except the referring team and your GP.

However, if there are any concerns about serious harm coming to you or concerns about the safety of others, the team will have to do something about this. This means that some information might have to be passed on to other agencies whether you agree or not. However, this will be discussed with you and your family and carers.

It is important for the safe and effective running of Forest House that you and your parents/carers understand that the team working in Forest House discuss the young people’s difficulties and treatment very regularly in detail.

We have learnt over time, that keeping secrets is not normally a good thing for the young people. This doesn’t mean that everyone will know everything about you! For example in individual therapy only the main issues would be talked about outside of the meeting.

Parents/carers are required to complete a consent form in relation to information sharing.

Who would be working with me?

Young people admitted to Forest House will be allocated a Consultant Psychiatrist, keyworkers nursing team, and a social worker. Where appropriate a young person will also be allocated an individual therapist and an occupational therapist. There will also be an allocated person from the Forest House Education Centre who will liaise with mainstream education provides.

Every young person will attend ward round once a week, which is when they will meet with their care team to discuss their care plan. The care plan is designed with the professionals and the young person (and in most cases their families or carers), when they are first offered support after their needs have been assessed. Individuals should be given a copy of their care plan and it should be reviewed regularly. In ward round new goals for the week ahead are agreed between the young person and their clinical team. Young people can also share their views and give feedback on their care.

Who can help us if we are struggling to cope?

Young people are encouraged to seek support from the staff team while on the unit. During their admission they will be allocated a named nurse and a key work team, however all staff on any given shift will support a young person as and when required. Other members of the multidisciplinary team are also available to provide support.

For parents support is available from the staff team via phone calls and by appointment with members of the multidisciplinary team. Additionally there is a carers’ support group for parents and carers to share their experiences of looking after their young person and access further support from peers and through signposting from professionals.

What is a CPA?

CPA stands for Care Programme Approach and is a way of assessing the health and social care needs of people with mental health problems, and coming up with a care plan that ensures people get the full help and support they need.

If a young person’s admission is unplanned, a 5-day CPA will be arranged and this is the where the purpose of and the plan for the admission is discussed with the young person, their parents/carers and any other professionals that may be involved in the young person’s care.

CPAs are then arranged every 4-6 weeks throughout admission to review the young person’s care and make plans as appropriate for discharge from hospital.

What support will there be after I am discharged?

At Forest House we aim for discharge to be carried out in a planned way. Discharge plans are always written down at the discharge meeting or the Care Programme Approach.

Discharge planning from Forest House may include other services such as CCATT team, local CAMHS Clinics, specialist CAMHS services (ED Team, Home Treatment Team) or sometimes joint support from the either of the above and Forest House. Most young people find some support following their discharge is helpful. Which services are involved will depend on the needs of the young person and their family, and this is discussed with them as part of discharge planning.

What is the process of admission?

Being admitted to Forest House will mean leaving your home and your family and carers. It may feel difficult and strange to settle into the programme and routine of the unit. This can be a difficult time for everyone concerned, and the Forest House team will support you through this. Young people are encouraged to maintain contact with families, and parents/carers are expected to be actively involved in the process.

One of the doctors and your named nurse will see you and speak to you when you arrive at Forest House. They will ask you questions and want to listen and hear about what’s brought you to the unit.

The doctors also need to make sure that you are physically okay. All young people who are admitted will have a physical examination. If you want, you can ask for your parent or carer to be present during the physical examination. As part of this examination young people usually have standard blood test taken; your doctor will explain these to you.

All young people are asked to provide a urine sample when they come to Forest House for the first time to test for illegal drugs. This is to keep the unit safe and is not done for the police or anyone else.

Some young people also have other tests like heart tracing or X rays. Some times more specialist tests are considered including EEG, CT scan and MRI). These would always be discussed with you and your family/carers before being carried out unless there was a medical emergency.

Once the admission paperwork and physical examination has been completed young people are brought to their room on the unit where they can leave their belongings. Parents/carers are welcome to support their young person onto the unit and to see their bed space if they wish. After young people and parents/carers have said their goodbyes and staff will support the young person to settle on the unit.

How involved will my parents/carers be?

At Forest House we work closely with young people’s parents and carers and we expect them to be actively involved in their young person’s care. This will include attending CPAs, giving feedback from leave attending the meetings described below.

Following the admission there is likely to be a Family Involvement Meeting, where two professionals meet with the young person and their parents/carers to discuss their hopes for the admission. This also includes a discussion of the rules of the unit and mutual expectations for the admission behavioural expectations. This is where the contract between parents/carers, young people and professionals is agreed.

Families are also offered a Family Therapy assessment and all families are encouraged to take this opportunity. We recognise having a family member in an inpatient unit can be deeply distressing for family members. Family therapy is appropriate for families who require understanding and unpacking of complex family dynamics. It enables family members to explore and express difficult thoughts and emotions in safe place and understand each other’s views, appreciate each other’s needs, build on existing family strengths and work together to make useful changes in their relationships and their lives.

At Forest House we also run a group for parents/carers where they learn the same skills that the young people learn as part of the unit programme. This is to help parents model the skills to their young person when on leave and after discharge and therefore support the learning of their young person. The parent’s skills group runs every week and parents/carers are expected to attend.

Additionally there is a carer group which is a space for parents and carers to share their experiences of looking after their young person and access further support from peers and through signposting from professionals.

What is there to do here?

The unit has a full structured timetable which includes a wide variety of group work, individual sessions, family therapy, meetings, ward rounds and community meetings. Each young person has their own individual timetable which is agreed in ward round and reviewed weekly, and it may include some or the entire unit timetable.

Each day starts with getting up and having breakfast before the unit timetable begins. The first activity is Community Meeting which is an opportunity for all the young people and all the staff to come together and think about the day ahead. Everyone is expected to attend this meeting, including all staff.

Young people will then attend the unit school and return to the unit for lunch. Attending school is an important aspect of the timetable as it gives us a chance to see how young people can manage in different environments, as well as stay connected to their own educational and occupational goals. After lunch there is an afternoon lesson at school.

Following the school day there is snack and then the afternoon group therapy programme beings. Most groups are open, which means all young people are expected to join them. The groups help young people to express and understand their difficulties and teach skills to help them manage these.

In addition to the school and group programme young people may have individual therapy and family therapy sessions. These tend to happen once a week and are scheduled into the young person’s individual timetable. Other professionals such as occupational therapists, social workers doctors will also arrange to see young people for appointments and reviews on the unit.

In the evening and the weekend there is free time. These are usually the times for visits or young people to have leave (if this has been agreed with the clinical team). Staff may also help the young people to arrange other activities such as arts and crafts, baking/cooking or walks on the weekends.

In addition there will be weekly ward rounds, when young people meet with their care team to review their care on a weekly basis.

Can my family or friends visit?

Visitors are welcome at the discretion of the nurse in charge after the unit programme (from 5pm) onwards Monday to Friday, and visitors are welcome at any time over the weekend at the discretion of the nurse in charge. Please note prior arrangement is required for all visits. Some young people may have visitors at other times; this will depend on the team and the young person’s treatment plan.

Visitors are asked to report to the nurse on arrival. Visitors are asked not to enter the young people’s communal areas or their bed spaces. Young people may go out with family members if they wish unless there is a clinical reason why they shouldn’t. Visits of any children or young people under the age of 16 must be arranged in consultation with the Team Leader or the Nurse in Charge. Visitors under the age of 16 must be accompanied by an appropriate adult and remain the responsibility of this identified individual throughout the unit (an appropriate adult is generally the individual who takes on the day-to-day care of the child in the absence of the identified parent).

How long will I be here?

We will think with young people and their parents/carers about minimum change, which helps us to identify the most important things young people and their families feel needs to change for them to be discharged. At Forest House we recognise the importance of young people remaining connected to their lives in the community and therefore aim for admissions to support this. It is not our intention for you to remain at Forest House any longer than is necessary. Your treatment plan will be reviewed regularly by the unit team.

How do we help you?

We aim to provide a high quality, multi-disciplinary mental health service for young people with emotional and mental health problems.

Forest House gives priority to the needs of young people and wherever possible, works in partnership with parents and/or carers.

We work in close collaboration with other children’s agencies to ensure the provision of the most effective service in the best interests of the adolescent.

Forest House aims to provide a safe place where a young person can explore their difficulties within a caring and respectful environment. The unit fosters a culture of enquiry openness and trust in which the distress behind behaviour and mental health difficulties can be articulated and understood.

The overall service that Forest House offers is based upon evidence - based practice and the experience of the team. There are various admission pathways and (e.g. for eating disorders, assessment and for crises) the care pathway offered is decided on a case-by-case basis taking into account the needs of the young person and their parents/carers.


Who works here?

We are a MDT, which stands for multi-disciplinary team and means our team consists of different professionals. These include nurses, support workers, social workers, family therapists, psychologists, creative therapists, therapy assistants, consultant psychiatrists, specialty doctors, trainee doctors, managers and administrators.For more information on the different roles with our CAMHS services please visit our who's who page.

What is Forest House?

Forest House is a general acute inpatient and day- patient psychiatric unit for young people between 13 – 18 years of age. At Forest House we provide care to young people and their families/carers who experience a variety of mental health difficulties, and who may require more intense treatment which cannot be provided in their own home.

There are 16 beds at Forest House and these are for female, male and non-binary gender young people. Three of these beds are specifically for young people with eating disorders.

The unit has a full structured timetable which includes a wide variety of group work, individual sessions, family therapy, meetings, ward rounds and community meetings. Each young person has their own individual timetable which is agreed in ward round and reviewed weekly, and it may include some or the entire unit timetable.

At Forest House we have facilities such as lounge areas, activity rooms and gardens. All young people have their own ensuite bedroom. There are separate male and female areas/zones which need to be respected and area are clearly signed.

The unit accept both voluntary patients and those who are detained under the Mental Health Act.

There is also a school on site, Forest House Education Centre (FHEC) which is run by the local education authority and is governed by St. Luke’s MLD School based in Redbourn, Hertfordshire. FHEC liaises with a young person’s mainstream school or college where appropriate to ensure their education needs are met.