Main contact number
Service based at
9 am - 1 pm – Monday and Thursday
About the service
Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT) is a small, very specialist service offered by our highly trained and expert team. ECT is a physical procedure which involves the administration of a general anaesthetic and muscle relaxant. Once asleep, a low electric current is passed across the head to induce a mild seizure. There is very little movement of the body due to the muscle relaxant injection.
Most people who undergo ECT are suffering from some form of depression. Other treatments will have been tried and been unsuccessful for the patient. ECT may also be the patient's preferred choice of treatment, particularly when they have experienced the benefits of previous treatment.
ECT is most commonly used to treat severe depression. It may also be helpful if the patient does not respond well to anti-depressant medication; if they have responded well to ECT in the past or if the patient feels so overwhelmed by their depression that it is difficult for them to function at all.
Over 8 out of 10 patients respond well, making ECT one of the most effective treatments for severe depression. Severely depressed patients report become more optimistic and less suicidal following ECT.
ECT is only offered to a small number of people, and is only given after a stringent consent process, which involves detailed information for both the patient and their family/carer, setting out the benefits and risks.
PLEASE NOTE: As part of the Trust’s commitment to make it as easy as possible for our service users, carers and visitors to access and use our Harplands Hospital services, we have introduced a new camera controlled car park management system on the hospital site. You will be required to register your vehicle’s details if you are visiting the Harplands site. Please click on this link for more information. A downloadable leaflet for further information is available here.