Our top priority

Quality is at the heart of everything we do. We closely monitor quality and it’s reviewed externally too. We review our services regularly and we seek feedback from our patients, carers and family members who have contact with our services, acting quickly when necessary. Our commitment to quality is recognised in our reports on our services from the Care Quality Commission, who have now conducted visits to all of our inpatient services and the majority of our prison health-care facilities. On every occasion they indicated we are fully compliant and in a number of establishments have commended us for specific pieces of work.


The Bracton Centre was first commissioned as a 15 bedded medium secure unit in 1985. At that time it was one part of a multi site service, for residents of the South East Thames Regional Health Authority.

By 1991 the service began to look after the mental health needs of prisoners, when we began to provide a visiting consultant service into HMP Belmarsh. Over the next 10 years this service significantly expanded providing a full community mental health team and a day centre for prisoners. The latter was recognised as an NHS Beacon site between 2002 - 2004.

From 1995 onwards, following the gradual reduction in the high secure estate, the Bracton responded to the emerging need and developed additional medium secure beds. Increasing from one unit which served all populations to 5 wards dedicated the men, women, acute and rehabilitation needs. In parallel to this, we also began to provide a comprehensive psychological therapy service for men and women in south London. This service today has a national reputation and receives referral from a wider geographical base.
By the middle of the following decade the expansion of services was focussed in developing our low secure provision, which today means we have a dedicated service for women with borderline personality disorder and challenging behaviour and for men stepping down from forensic services or others with challenging behaviour.
Today, The Bracton inpatient services pride themselves on the work they do in terms of social inclusion, which can be measured by the number of activities available for patients both in and where appropriate outside of the service. In 2013 there were more entries to the Keostler awards than any other mental health unit in the country.