Older Men's Mental Health - locked rehabilitation

Foster is a locked rehabilitation ward for older males aged over 55 years located in Northampton.

We care for older men (aged 55+) with enduring mental illness and complex/challenging behaviour as a result of psychotic illness, mood and anxiety disorders, personality disorder and patients with cognitive impairment; with a secondary diagnosis of dementia.

Active rehabilitation and improved quality of life are achieved through a comprehensive forensic care pathway from medium to low secure and locked. 

As a locked ward Foster has to manage and support the forensic risk and presentation of the patients.   The ward aims to maintain the quality of life for patients by the facilities available on the ward and the staffing who aid in maintaining this quality of life which can be key at this stage of a persons’ life.

The ward organise a comprehensive programme of age appropriate activities which include Cognitive Stimulus Therapy (CST), leisure activities from the sports therapy team, physio as well as maintaining and developing skills for cooking and baking. 

A spacious light living room

A modern dining area

Quiet area

Bright ward spaces

Admissions criteria

Males aged 55 and older with (we will assess patients who are younger dependent on individual cases) a primary diagnosis of mental illness co-morbidities including:

  • personality disorder 
  • dementia 
  • substance misuse 
  • borderline intellectual impairment 
  • development disorders
  • physical health or mobility issues
  •  significant challenging/ risk behaviours 
  • a forensic history
  • be detained under the Mental Health Act 1983/ (informal patients are considered).

Treatment and care

We aim to maximise patients’ quality of life by treating them in the least restrictive environment possible. Where appropriate, patients are encouraged to take responsibility for their own treatment, within the My Shared Pathway framework. We aim to provide a safe, supportive and containing living and working environment.

We use the RAID (Reinforce Appropriate and Implode Disruptive) approach to manage behaviour. We have a dedicated psychologist who provides both individual and group sessions. Our multidisciplinary team (MDT) delivers 25 hours of activity per week, including psychology, nursing and occupational therapy and speech and language therapy.
Physical health and wellbeing is a crucial part of our comprehensive care programmes. Dual trained adult and mental health professionals work alongside our dedicated physical health team with access to general practitioner (GP), geriatrician, practice nurse, physiotherapy, dietetics, dental and podiatry services.

A geriatrician also provides input into patient care and we aim to exceed the recommended 25 hours of meaningful activity.


The patients are also able to access the 120 acres of green, inspiring, spacious grounds at the Northampton site, encompassing the wonderful wildlife, trees and orchard, as well as all of the other facilities available. These onsite facilities include Arts and Craft and  Workbridge which provides the opportunity to learn and develop work and life skills through a range of activities including ceramics, horticulture, woodwork, catering and design and print. Additionally patients can also use Workbridge Work and Social programme (WWASP) to experience a diverse range of tasks including producing greeting cards, craft gifts, bird boxes, ceramics and aprons.

Therapy areas including crafts, information technology (IT) skills, kitchens and vocational rehabilitation:

  • fitness suite
  • large enclosed courtyard and garden
  • visitor room
  • multi-faith room
  • swimming pool
  • GP and dental care
  • The café
  • library
  • access to all in the grounds , Workbridge – vocational work and  WWASP - Workbridge Work and Social Programme
  • Tenant Kitchen and arts and crafts 


Next steps

Discharge is considered at admission and our clinical and social work teams work with appropriate case managers to support a transition.

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