Women's Mental Health and PD - low secure

Colne ward is a 16-bed low secure admission, assessment and treatment ward for adult females (over 18) with complex care needs (predominantly around personality difficulties) and is situated on the outskirts of Basildon.

Specialists in Sustainable Recovery
The lives of patients with complex needs are often expressed in response to dysfunctional coping styles learned very early in life. These patterns are demonstrated in response to perceived difficulties and expressed in the four main areas of personality disorder (PD); cognition, affect, behaviour and interpersonal.
Through our holistic multi-modal and multi-faceted treatment we give our patients increased mastery over their behaviour. We help them to develop the skills to manage urges which previously led them to behave in ways rooted in their past and which reinforced negative personality traits.

Admissions criteria

Colne admits female patients aged over 18 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
  • patients presenting with 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 care

Supporting patients on their journey of healing

The culture on the ward is rooted by the belief that people have a right to stay in control of their lives, and that the role of our staff is to support patients in their on-going journey of healing. We place the patient at the heart of their own recovery programme, and instill in them the skills to identify, understand and take responsibility for their own behaviour. The ward operates a biopsychosocial model of care which is designed to ensure patients receive a continuous therapeutic learning experience to support their transition to step-down and community living.

Dialectical Behavioural Therapy

For those patients with specific personality disorder traits the ward offers a dialectical behavioural therapy sessions, helping women to manage difficult emotions through experience, recognition and acceptance.

Delivering therapy around the clock

In line with National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) guidelines our four-phase psychology treatment model is developed around assessment, treatment, consolidation and discharge and incorporates risk monitoring throughout.

At the core of our challenging behaviour treatment models is a sound therapeutic milieu which creates a predictable and safe environment where patients can express their pathology and make progress, within clearly defined boundaries.

Next steps

Discharge is considered at admission and our clinical and social work teams work with appropriate case managers and community teams to support transition to the least restrictive environment.

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