Some patients require a more intense or structured approach to their treatment or need to be away from the everyday situations that are contributing to their condition. Other patients require a treatment which can only be delivered in an in-patient setting.

In-patients participate in the therapeutic programme that runs throughout the day and benefit form our 24/7 nursing care. They can benefit from making good progress very quickly as well as receiving lots of input from members of the multi-disciplinary team.

Arranging in-patient treatment

Most of our patients who are admitted for in-patient care are referred to Cardinal Clinic by their GP or other healthcare professional.  However, it is also possible to refer yourself.  For programmes such as our Alcohol Detox programme, it is normal for patients to request admission themselves.

If you feel that our in-patient service would be of benefit, please take a look at our page about getting a referral from your GP:  Arranging a GP Referral Alternatively, you may wish to consider referring yourself:  Arranging a Self Referral

Once we have received your referral information, you will be allocated to a Consultant Psychiatrist.  An initial assessment will be booked at a convenient time for you.  At this assessment, the consultant will discuss treatment options with you and you will agree whether in-patient care is most appropriate for addressing any mental health concerns you have.

What to expect from in-patient treatment

Your consultant may recommend you are admitted to the Clinic to address the issues you are experiencing. They will agree an admission date with you and you will be given information about what to bring with you for your stay.

When you come for admission, you will be allocated to a nurse-team who will co-ordinate your care. The team will be your key point of contact for any questions or concerns you may have. The nursing team are available at any time to discuss your concerns or problems and will treat everything you say in complete confidence.  Everything discussed with your nursing team will only ever be shared with the team managing your care.

You can expect to have a one-to-one consultation with your consultant two or three times a week.

You will stay in one of our 23 en-suite bedrooms and benefit from taking part in the group therapeutic programme that runs throughout the day. You will also receive individual time with your consultant and/or therapist.

in patient bedroom at Cardinal Clinic

During your stay all meals are provided in our patients’ dining room. There is a choice of menu and our chefs are happy to cater for dietary requirements.

As well as participating in the programme, you will also have time for relaxation and contemplation, as well as the use of our superb facilities. These include a heated indoor swimming pool, patients’ lounge and beautifully maintained extensive grounds. Your family and friends are welcome to visit you at weekends, but we do ask that they avoid group and meal times.  Visitors are invited to arrange this with the nursing team to ensure it fits around patient’s clinical needs and visitors understand any restrictions in place around coronavirus.

Cardinal Clinic swimming pool

Your consultant will continually monitor your progress and keep you informed of any changes to your care plan or medication. Any required changes will be implemented as quickly and smoothly as possible.

Based on clinical judgement, your consultant will decide when it is appropriate for you to be discharged from in-patient care. An individually tailored discharge plan will be devised with your input, this may mean attending the Clinic as a day or out-patient.

The majority of Cardinal Clinic patients are informal patients. This means you have freedom of movement in and out of the Clinic. However, nurses will complete regular assessments with you to identify any risk factors that may affect you during your stay.

These assessments may mean that closer levels of observation of you are necessary.  These will occur throughout the day and night.  You may also require to be escorted for trips out of the Clinic. Please remember, if this is the case the team are only concerned about your wellbeing so please talk to them about their advice.


It is not necessary to bring any psychiatric medication with you such as antidepressant or sleeping tablets as these are provided. However, please do bring any medicines provided for your physical health. Examples might include insulin, or heart tablets.  We can organise these for you but you may incur a fee if we are required to order these.

Alcohol and illicit substances are not permitted in the Clinic.


Please bring casual clothing including jogging bottoms and comfortable shoes so you can take part in the relaxation and yoga classes. We have a heated indoor swimming pool that you and your family can use during your stay so please bring swim wear. You will need to bring personal toiletries.

We have a patient laundry with complimentary washing powder and fabric softener that you can use during your stay.

Personal Possessions

We do not recommend that you bring items of value into the Clinic. We provide a small safe in your bedroom in which you can store your mobile phone and purse/wallet but it is not large enough to hold a laptop. Items such as purses and mobile phones should not be left in your room unattended unless locked in the safe. If you wish to bring in items that will not fit into your safe, please make sure they are covered by your own personal insurance, as the Clinic cannot be responsible for any valuables.

Please be aware that the nurses may check through your belongings where they feel this is necessary to protect your safety or support your recovery.

Visitors are asked to refrain from bringing in food for patients due to Health & Safety legislation. Our kitchen will make every effort to deal with food requirements and can order specialist foods on request.

If you have any specialist dietary requirements, please discuss this with a member of the nursing team so we can arrange a meeting with the Head Chef.

During the week, patients will be expected to be participating in the Clinic’s programme.  Therefore, visitors are only permitted at weekends.  If your visitors cannot come during these periods, please discuss with the nursing team, whether alternative arrangements can be made.

Visitors should contact the nursing team to ensure they understand any restrictions or requirements that are in place, prior to arriving.  This is particularly important during the Covid pandemic when the protection of our patients is our top priority.

Visitors should report to reception on arrival.  Children are welcome to visit but we do ask that they are under adult supervision at all times and remain in the designated visitor areas.

When your Consultant has agreed your discharge, you may make arrangements for friends or family to collect you. Normally on discharge you will be given one week’s supply of medication. A charge is made for this medication.  Please be aware that insurance companies do not cover this cost.

The plans and recommendations for after-care services will be discussed with you as part of the discharge process.

Following your in-patient stay, it may be appropriate for you to be referred to our Day Care programme or to continue contact with your psychiatrist or therapist through out-patient appointments.  This will all be discussed with you during the discharge process.

We provide a 24 hour helpline for our patients.  This service is manned by one of our nursing team and is on hand if you require urgent support.

A calm environment dedicated to your care

Rated ‘Outstanding’ for care and overall ‘Good’ by the Care Quality Commission, Cardinal Clinic works tirelessly to offer an elevated patient experience from exquisite and fresh chef-prepared meals, to comfortable and relaxing accommodations. Situated in a private estate in the heart of Windsor’s green belt, residential in-patient care, day care and out-patient services are offered.

Cardinal Clinic patient and therapist walking under rose arch in private mental hospital grounds

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