The Mildred Creak Unit is an intensive intervention 10-bed inpatient unit admitting children from 7-14 years of age with a range of mental health problems such as eating disorders, somatising disorders and other emotional and behavioural disorders.
The unit forms a fundamental part of the integrated service offered by the Department of Child and Adolescent Mental Health's outpatient services.
The unit is open seven days a week, although we encourage children to spend weekends at home with their family or carers. Based in a major paediatric hospital setting, the unit is particularly well placed to take on paediatric liaison cases that require in-patient psychiatric treatment.
We are therefore one of the few children’s in-patient units equipped to take children with significant medical problems as well as mental health disorders. We have regular input from a consultant paediatrician on the unit and liaise regularly with paediatric colleagues where appropriate.
Although we have a particular interest in somatoform disorders, we treat a wide range of child psychiatric conditions including mood disorders, eating disorders, psychotic disorders, attachment disorders and pervasive developmental disorders.
Information for referrers
The Mildred Creak Unit is named after the hospital’s first child psychiatrist and is an inpatient psychiatric unit for seven to fourteen year olds. We have up to ten beds available on the unit and we accept children with a range of behavioural and emotional difficulties. In particular, these include somatoform disorders, eating disorders, mood disorders and other psychiatric conditions. The proximity of paediatric services enables us to manage co-morbid medical problems.
Referrals should be sent in writing to the Consultant Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist, Mildred Creak Unit. We accept referrals from Consultant Child and Adolescent Psychiatrists in Tier 3 CAMHS services, and also from Consultant Paediatricians within Great Ormond Street Hospital.
Dr Jon Goldin, Consultant Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist, is happy to discuss cases on the telephone prior to the decision to refer. We have a fortnightly referral meeting, where referrals are discussed by our team and a senior team member is allocated to liaise with the referrer.
If the referral is for a patient with an eating disorder, it should be addressed to Dr Dasha Nicholls, Consultant Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist, in the first instance.
For more information, read our information for referrers guide.
About the team
We work as a multidisciplinary team comprising child and adolescent psychiatrists, nurses, therapeutic care workers, teachers, a family therapist, a child and adolescent psychotherapist, a clinical psychologist, a social worker, a physiotherapist and a dietitian.
Our nurses come from a range of backgrounds encompassing both mental health and paediatric training.
Before the admission
Ideally, a consultation is arranged locally initially with the referrer/family, and if admission seems likely, the child and family will come to meet members of the MCU team at Great Ormond Street Hospital.
Sometimes the initial meeting is at Great Ormond Street Hospital, in which case it is helpful if the referrer is also able to attend. A home visit and a visit to the unit are also arranged before the admission.
The initial six weeks of an admission focuses on assessment of the child’s difficulties. During this time we will consider whether a longer-term admission is appropriate. This will be a joint decision involving the Mildred Creak Unit team, the referring team and the child and family.
The treatment plan is individually designed according to the individual needs of the child and family. We provide a therapeutic milieu on the unit and within this framework, an eclectic treatment programme is delivered.
Available treatment includes individual and group psychotherapies, family therapy, pharmacotherapy and a range of creative therapies. An individual education plan is implemented for each child.
During the course of the admission, a regular written update is sent to the family, referrer, and relevant professionals. In addition, full admission and discharge summaries are prepared and sent to the referrer, family, GP and others as appropriate.
Urgent referrals and emergencies
We are not able to accept emergency admissions, but we do respond as quickly as possible to all referrals, usually within 24 hours.
Cases are prioritised in discussion with the referrer.
If you wish to discuss a case before deciding whether to refer, please contact:
Dr Jon Goldin
Consultant Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist
Mildred Creak Unit
Telephone number: 020 7405 9200, Ext 5518