Acute psychiatric inpatient service

Contact details

  • Hall Ward phone: 9845 1112
  • Hall Ward fax: 9845 1122

We are located at Level 1 of the Children’s Hospital Westmead, the Corner of Hawkesbury Road and Hainsworth Street, Westmead NSW 2145.

At the Sydney Children’s Hospitals Network we care for young people aged between 6 and 15 years who are experiencing acute emotional or mental health problems that cannot be managed in the community.

We provide specialist inpatient assessment, diagnostic and therapeutic services catered to the young person’s unique needs and facilitated within a safe environment. We value collaboration with other services to create a seamless patient journey, where care is provided at the right time, in the right place, and by the right team. 

Hall Ward is a secure (locked) ward with eight beds, where we provide care in the least restrictive environment.

The Hall Ward care team

The Hall ward team consists of specialist mental health professionals including psychiatrists, doctors in training (registrars and residents), a pharmacist, nurses, and allied health (psychologist, social worker, occupational therapists, peer support worker, and registered art therapist/activities therapist).

On admission, each patient is allocated a case manager from the Allied Health Team. A primary nurse is allocated to each patient on a daily basis.

During the day, the young people attend school (during school term), physiotherapy, individual therapy, group therapy, family therapy and diversional activities.

The treatment program relies on active engagement from both the young person and their family. Our goals are to support each young person through the acute crisis that led to their admission and to connect the young person and their family with appropriate mental health professionals in the community for ongoing care.

If the young person is admitted with community mental health professionals already in place, we work collaboratively with that team to support the transition back into the community and to maximise treatment outcomes.

For more information, including visiting hours, see our Hall Ward brochure

Admission criteria

  • The child or young person must be aged between 6 and 15 years
  • The child or young person is medically well
  • Symptoms of mental illness such as a major mood disorder or psychosis exist
  • A recent (during the preceding 48 hours) comprehensive mental health assessment by a child and adolescent mental health clinician* and a Mental Health Outcomes and Assessment Tool (MH-OAT) assessment or equivalent is completed
  • A recommendation by a Child & Adolescent Psychiatrist that inpatient care is necessary
  • Least restrictive options of care have been trialled and failed or are not possible
  • Clear goals for a psychiatric admission are outlined
  • Family members have agreed to work collaboratively with the Hall Ward treating team

* A Child and Adolescent Mental Health Clinician is a psychiatrist, psychologist, occupational therapist, social worker or clinical nurse consultant specialising in Child & Adolescent Mental Health within the public or private sectors. In rural and remote areas where there is no psychiatrist available, referrals from medical practitioners may be accepted at our own discretion.

Admission process

  • The referral will be assessed by the Hall Ward team at the next morning’s intake meeting.
  • Each referral, if accepted, needs to be renewed by the referring team every seven days or their application will lapse.
  • Admission is subject to bed availability, we do have a waitlist in place and priority is given to the most unwell patients.
  • Urgent referrals may be considered at other times at our discretion.

Referral process

Hall Ward accepts referrals from specialist Child and Adolescent mental health workers in the community who have assessed a young person and, in consultation with a Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist, believe they require an acute psychiatric admission. Admissions to Hall Ward can be voluntary or involuntary. 

After assessing a young person, a psychiatrist, psychiatric registrar or CAMHS clinician can complete the referral form and email it to Hall Ward at SCHN-CHW-HallWard@health.nsw.gov.au.

Local Health District Services

Hall Ward is one of a number of inpatient mental health services for young people across the state of NSW.

When making a referral, please consider the home address and age of your client and contact the mental health service most local and relevant to them. Other facilities are listed below.

Redbank Integrated Adolescent Services (RIAS)

  • Western Sydney catchment area
  • Age range: 12-17 years

Saunders Unit, Sydney Children’s Hospital

  • South Eastern Sydney catchment area
  • Age range: 12-17 years

Brolga Unit, Hornsby Hospital

  • Northern Sydney catchment area
  • Age range: 12-17 years

Gna Ka Lun, Campbelltown Hospital

  • South Western Sydney catchment area
  • 11-17 years

Nexus Unit, John Hunter Hospital, Newcastle

  • Hunter New England catchment area
  • 5-17 years

Shellharbour Adolescent Mental Health Unit

  • Illawarra Shoalhaven catchment area
  • Age range: 13-17 years

North Coast Child and Adolescent Mental Health Unit, Lismore Base Hospital

  • Northern New South Wales catchment area
  • Age range: 8-17 years

Orange Child and Adolescent Mental Health Unit, Bloomfield Hospital

  • Western New South Wales catchment area
  • Age range: 8-17 years

Search Local Health Districts by location

Staff

  • Dr Veena Raghupathy, Child & Adolescent Psychiatrist (part-time)
  • Dr Dina Mahmood, Child & Adolescent Psychiatrist (part-time)
  • Dr Shirene Shanker-Butler, Child & Adolescent Psychiatrist (part-time)
  • Anna Lester, Nursing Unit Manager
  • Louise Butler, Clinical Psychologist
  • Nichole Andrews, Occupational Therapist / Psychologist (part-time)
  • Cassandra Brown, Occupational Therapist (part-time)
  • Megan Evans, Social Worker
  • Nicholas Redmond, Peer Support Worker
  • Sarah Versitano, Registered Arts Therapist/Activities Therapist (part-time)