St Andrew's Hospital

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St Andrew's Hospital
St Andrew's Healthcare
St Andrews Hospital - - 2168939.jpg
St Andrews Hospital
St Andrew's Hospital is located in Northamptonshire
St Andrew's Hospital
Shown in Northamptonshire
LocationNorthampton, Northamptonshire, England
Coordinates52°14′17″N 0°52′26″W / 52.238°N 0.874°W / 52.238; -0.874Coordinates: 52°14′17″N 0°52′26″W / 52.238°N 0.874°W / 52.238; -0.874
Care systemPrivate
Affiliated universityUniversity of Northampton
ListsHospitals in England

St Andrews Hospital is a mental health facility in Northampton, England. It is managed by St Andrew's Healthcare.



Engraving of Northampton General Lunatic Asylum, 1849

The facility was founded by public subscription for "private and pauper lunatics" and opened as the Northampton General Lunatic Asylum on 1 August 1838.[1] Thomas Octavius Prichard was appointed as the hospital’s first medical superintendent: he was one of the pioneers of "moral management", the humane treatment of the mentally ill.[2] The chapel was designed by Sir George Gilbert Scott and opened in 1863.[3]

It became St Andrew's Hospital for Mental Diseases in the 1930s[1] and elected to remain a charity rather than joining the National Health Service in 1948.[4]


Dispatches exposure[edit]

In 2017, Channel 4 Dispatches aired Under Lock and Key,[5] which highlighted that people with learning disabilities and autism were being kept in secure hospitals, in concerning conditions. The show detailed the experiences of several former patients at St Andrew's Hospital. Concerns included the use of restraint, seclusion and frequent sedation, with one patient remaining mostly in segregation for 22 months, in a room with minimal natural light.  It was also revealed that four patients had died on one ward between October 2010 and May 2011 and that all had been prescribed Clozapine.[6] Information that highlighted the role of the use of Clozapine in the deaths of these patients was not shared with the coroner at the initial inquest into one of the deaths.[7] After the programme's broadcast, St Andrew's issued a statement refuting the allegations that appeared in the programme.[8]

Girls on the Edge[edit]

In 2018 the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services at the hospital was featured in a BBC Two documentary entitled Girls on the Edge. The programme followed three families whose adolescent daughters had been sectioned under the Mental Health Act 1983 to protect them from harming themselves. The film, made by Dragonfly Film and Television,[9] won a Mind Media Award.[10]

Walsall Council legal action[edit]

In 2018, the father of a girl who has autism and anxiety won a court case against Walsall Council, who had sought to prevent him from publicising details of the conditions his daughter was being detained under, in St Andrew's Hospital. His daughter was being kept in a 12 ft by 10 ft room, with a mattress and chair, with family members being forced to communicate with her via a hole in the metal door, which she was also being fed through. An earlier assessment had concluded that “the current setting is not able to satisfactorily meet her individual care needs” and a recommendation was made suggesting she be moved to a residential setting in the community with high support, but she continued to remain in the conditions, whilst her father was forced to defend legal action taken by Walsall Council to stop him publicly discussing his daughter and the conditions she was being detained under, at St Andrew's Hospital.[11]

St Andrew's Chief Executive, Katie Fisher, has spoken publicly about the challenges the hospital faces when discharging patients, as there is a lack of suitable community places for people to move on to. In May 2019, Fisher told the BBC that the organisation "has up to 50 patients stuck in secure units".[12]

Notable patients[edit]


  1. ^ a b "St Andrew's Hospital". National Archives. Retrieved 19 October 2018. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  2. ^ Foss, p. 28
  3. ^ Historic England. "Chapel, St Andrew's Hospital (1039745)". National Heritage List for England.
  4. ^ "St Andrew's Healthcare in plan for £52m Northampton unit". BBC. 23 October 2012. Retrieved 19 October 2018. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  5. ^ "Channel 4 Dispatches". Rethink Mental Illness. Retrieved 13 October 2018.
  6. ^ "Channel 4 Broadcast Dispatches Under Lock and Key". The Challenging Behaviour Foundation. Retrieved 19 October 2018.
  7. ^ Doward, Jamie (6 July 2013). "Call for inquiry into deaths of four men at psychiatric hospital". The Guardian. Retrieved 13 October 2018.
  8. ^ "Northampton mental health hospital speaks out after Channel Four documentary". Retrieved 2019-11-14.
  9. ^ "Dragonfly". Retrieved 2019-11-14.
  10. ^ "Winners of the Virgin Money Giving Mind Media Awards 2018 revealed". Retrieved 2019-11-14.
  11. ^ Social Affairs Editor, Greg Hurst (2018-10-13). "Father beats legal bid to silence him over autistic girl in hospital 'cell'". The Times. ISSN 0140-0460. Retrieved 2018-10-13.
  12. ^ Phillips, Noel (2019-05-23). "Up to 50 patients stuck in secure units". Retrieved 2019-11-14.
  13. ^ "Obituary: Sir Malcolm Arnold". The Guardian. 25 September 2006. Retrieved 19 October 2018. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  14. ^ "Boxing hero Frank Bruno has spoken out about his time in St Andrew's Hospital in Northampton". Northampton Chronicle. 14 October 2012. Retrieved 7 December 2018. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  15. ^ Page, William. "'The borough of Northampton: Description', in A History of the County of Northampton". London, 1930: British History Online. pp. 30–40. Retrieved 19 October 2018. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link) CS1 maint: location (link)
  16. ^ Stephen Brenkley (14 May 2011). "Sad story of Frank Foster, Ashes hero that time forgot". London: The Independent. Retrieved 5 May 2019. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  17. ^ "Mussolini's nose". Retrieved 8 July 2014. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  18. ^ "Josef Hassid". 1 July 2005. Retrieved 8 August 2012. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  19. ^ Sean O'Hagan (16 May 2004). "Private dancer". London: The Guardian. Retrieved 8 August 2012. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  20. ^ 'Obituary' The Times London, England Tuesday, Aug. 27, 1935 Issue 47153 p13
  21. ^ Jonathan Glancey (9 December 2002). "The man between". London: The Guardian. Retrieved 8 August 2012. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  22. ^ "Gladys, Duchess of Marlborough: the aristocrat with attitude". The Telegraph. Retrieved 19 October 2018. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  23. ^ "James Kenneth Stephen". University of Toronto - Representative Poetry Online. Archived 15 October 2009 at the Wayback Machine


  • Foss, Arthur; Trick, Kerith Lloyd Kinsey (1989), St. Andrew's Hospital Northampton: the first 150 years, 1838-1988, Granta Editions, ISBN 0906782449