Women's Mental Health and PD - low secure

Colne ward is a 16-bed low secure admission, assessment and treatment ward for adult females with complex care needs.

The ward specialises in supporting women with personality disorders helping individuals to better understand their mental health needs and teach them the skills necessary to move forward with their lives. We aim to equip women with the coping skills and behaviours that will lead to a successful transition and a live outside of a hospital setting.

Colne is located at our Essex hospital campus on the outskirts of Basildon, Essex. The hospital site is a short drive away from a shopping centre and other amenities. The hospital site is also the location for our women's Psychiatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU).

Admissions criteria

Colne supports women over 18 years who are detained under the Mental Health Act and who present with a wide range of complex psychopathologies and mental disorders, including;

  • complex mental and personality disorders
  • schizophrenia
  • attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
  • behavioural difficulties
  • serious self-harming or suicidal behaviour
  • substance and alcohol misuse
  • a history of violence and offending
  • serious chronic underlying physical pathology
  • co-morbid diagnoses.

The majority of the women who are placed on Colne have had long-standing difficulties and have been in contact with community psychiatric services over many years.

Treatment and rehabilitation

Colne offers women a safe space to better understand their mental health needs and learn the skills necessary to help them move forward.

The specialist staff on Colne work with women from admission to understand their needs and their goals, developing care plans and rehabilitation programmes with them. Women are encouraged to lead their recoveries, having a say in what they want to participate in, based on their interests.

Psychological therapies are provided based on the needs of the individual and may include Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Dialectical Behavioural Therapy (DBT) or supportive psychological interventions, such as self-care, body image and self-esteem.

Activity programmes are wide and varied offering women a choice in the activities that they participate in, based on their interests. They may include art and design, gardening, or outdoor sports which can be located on or off the ward.


Next steps

Following treatment and rehabilitation on Colne, women are supported by our clinical and social work teams to transition to lower levels of security or in to appropriate services in the community. This is something which is discussed between the ward team and the individuals local team from admission.