St Martha’s is situated on the outskirts of Ringwood in the New Forest in Hampshire. It is set within 30 acres of woodland and has access to rail and road links to Southampton, Bournemouth and London.

St Martha’s is a locked Mental Health facility for Older Men and Women who are liable to be detained under the Mental Health Act and providing specialist assessment, care, support, and treatment delivered by skilled staff from capable multidisciplinary care teams (MDTs). Our patients require and benefit from care delivered in a structured and controlled therapeutic environment within our Locked Unit Service based on the individual’s need for conditions of safety as well as upholding the principles of the least restrictive setting available.

The purposely designed units provide an environment and structure to manage patients requiring care for complex needs with differing degrees of cognitive impairment and/or enduring mental health problems.

Service types

CQC identify types of services that are registered, we have one service type in our location:

A care service for people with mental health needs (Code MLS)

These will be as defined by the CQC ‘units for older people with mental health problems’ (mental health problems are often related to ageing and may include a combination of psychological, cognitive, functional, behavioural, physical and social problems), that are likely to be Long Term Conditions (LTC). Services will therefore provide a range of highly specialised care, treatment and support to people with cognitive impairment, physical, mental or neurological illness or injuries that are unlikely to improve. This care, treatment and support is the main or sole purpose of the service.

Regulated Activities

We have three regulated activities registered with CQC as follows:

  1. Treatment of disease, disorder or injury
  2. Diagnostic and screening procedures
  3. Assessment or medical treatment for persons detained under the 1983 Act

Service user bands

CQC identify a number of “service user bands”. The services provided by St Martha’s provide care for:

  • Older people

It is the aim of our service to meet the care needs of people whose illnesses are linked to the aging process or progressive, degenerative, organic disease.  More specific references to ages are detailed in the descriptions of the units.

  • Mental Health

Services have been designed to provide care to people with a wide spectrum of mental health problems, both functional and organic in nature.

  • Physical Disability

Services have been designed to provide care to people with co-existing physical health care needs associated with but not exclusively, the aging process and progressive, degenerative organic illnesses.

  • Dementia

In diagnostic terms, this is the most prevalent progressive, degenerative organic illness for which care is provided.

  • People detained under the Mental Health Act 1983

St Martha’s is able to care for people who require detention under the Mental Health Act.

St Martha’s facility for Older Men and Women: Locked Unit Service

St Martha’s nursing facility is registered for 79 beds across 5 purposely designed, gender specific locked units, each with their own garden. St Martha’s provides care pathways aimed at maximising quality of life by helping to maintain functional abilities and optimising both mental and physical health. Care is provided for patients with mental illness/disorder who require a locked and carefully managed therapeutic environment due to the potential risk posed to themselves or other people.

The patients are aged 55 years and above with either a functional illness (e.g. schizophrenia, bipolar affective disorder etc), or 40 years and above with progressive organic illness (e.g. dementing illnesses of early onset, Huntington’s disease, Parkinson’s disease etc). Patients with functional illness may have co-morbid organic syndromes, personality disorders, as well as a history of significant substance use disorders. Many patients have co-existing physical health care illness. All patients are comprehensively assessed with respect to their suitability for treatment prior to admission into our environment. 

Patients are admitted directly from other hospitals or healthcare environments in the community. All units provide care for patients detained under Parts II and III of the Mental Health Act 1983. A minority of patients are subject to Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS) under the Mental Capacity Act 2005 where appropriate.

Exclusion criteria for admission to St Martha’s.

  • Patient is less than 40 years of age with an organic illness.
  • Patient has a primary diagnosis of substance misuse (this does not exclude conditions where the presentation and clinical needs relate to brain damage caused by alcohol or other substances, e.g. Korsakoff’s syndrome).
  • Patient presents a level of violence that could not reasonably be managed in a locked unit setting, i.e. that patient would require referral to a low secure hospital.
  • Patient requires a level of medical care that could only reasonably be provided in a general hospital.
  • Patients less than 55 years of age with a functional illness.




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