Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT)
If you’re being treated for a severe mental health condition which isn’t responding to medication or other treatments, we may consider electroconvulsive therapy (ECT).
If ECT is identified as a treatment which may help you, your Consultant Psychiatrist will first discuss with you in detail and ask for your consent if you would like to have the procedure.
ECT is a specialised treatment to help you recover from an intense mental health condition, such as long standing depression.
Not all mental health conditions need ECT treatment. If you do need ECT, our team will discuss this option with you first before agreeing to go through with the procedure.
Find more information about ECT from the NHS website (opens new browser tab)
Your wellbeing is our top priority. We’ll work closely with your Consultant Psychiatrist and staff from Royal Berkshire Hospital to provide ECT in a safe and controlled way.
The ECT procedure
Treatment first involves putting you under general anaesthetic, meaning that you’ll be asleep.
Under the care of an anaesthetists and the ECT team, an electrically induced seizure is delivered.
As you’re asleep for the procedure, you should not feel anything other than the after effects of anaesthetic during recovery.
The whole process, including general anaesthetic, usually lasts just a few minutes and will take place in our ECT unit at Prospect Park Hospital.
On the day of treatment, we’ll ask you not to eat or drink before the procedure and check that you give your consent. After the procedure, we’ll escort you back to the ward and make sure you have something to eat and time to recover and relax.
If you’re an outpatient with us, you’ll be allowed to go home as soon as you’re feeling well enough and declared physically fit.
You’ll need somebody with you, like a family member or friend, to help you get home and ideally stay with you for a few hours.
Depending on how you’re responding to your treatment plan, ECT can be given once or twice a week for up to 12 times.
Similar to medication, ECT is given at prescribed doses so that you have an optimal therapeutic experience. Our consultants will always discuss this with you before your treatment starts.
Your Consultant Psychiatrist will discuss the ECT treatment with you if it’s an appropriate option for your condition, before referring you to our unit.
Unfortunately, we don’t accept self referrals for this treatment.
You’ll find our ECT Suite at Prospect Park Hospital.
|Day of the week||Opening time|
|Tuesday||8am to 12pm|
|Friday||8am to 12pm|
If you don’t want to come through our main reception, you can find a separate entrance with free parking next to our Oakwood ward.
Our mental health teams and services, including Talking Therapies, are available if you need support.
Find out how to access mental health support (opens new browser tab)
You can also find resources and guides on our website to help you if you need more advice.
Resources to help with your mental health wellbeing (opens new browser tab)
What is ECT
Deciding to have ECT