HD and Dementia

Harper ward offers assessment, treatment and care within an environment that has been adapted to meet the unique needs of women with HD and progressive neurological conditions (PNC).

Harper provides dedicated environments to support the cognitive, physical and behavioural management of patients with Huntington’s disease (including those with a forensic history), and caring support for patients at end of life stages of their progressive condition.

Admission criteria

We care for informal and detained older-adult females with HD, dementia and other Progressive Neurological Conditions (PNC) with: 

  • a formal psychiatric or neurological HD diagnosis
  • co-morbid physical or mental health needs
  • a forensic or absconding risk requiring a managed locked environment
  • a history of emotional and behavioural difficulties including aggression to others and who are considered a risk to themselves or others
  • difficulties with self-regulation and control
  • problems in interpersonal relationships
  • a history of treatment resistance
  • a history of non-compliance with prescribed medication
  • been detained under either civil or criminal provisions of the Mental Health Act 1983 (amended 2007)
  • Harper ward at a glance:
  • 11 single rooms (x with en-suite)
  • Physio room
  • Visitors room
  • Large garden
  • Specialist equipment including walking aids, hoists, specialist seating and bathing options.
  • 2 lounge areas
  • Disability access shower and bath rooms
  • Therapy Kitchen
  • Extensive MDT with specialist input including Dieticians, GP and podiatry

A specialist team

Our on-site MDT is expert in the assessment, treatment and management of HD and is permanently based on-site to meet the daily needs of patients, including those who present with challenging behaviour, overt aggression, sexual disinhibition and self-harm, as well as those with a forensic history.                              

Our therapeutic environment is designed to create a welcoming and reinforcing experience for patients in our care.  In partnership with patients and their family our MDT construct programmes that utilise a full range of psychological and occupational therapy programmes which: 

  • are highly structured and tailored to the individual
  • provide constant guidance and support to reinforce appropriate behaviour and skills
  • cater for those with intensive, complex acute needs
  • are delivered by an extensive full-time team
  • address functional and behavioural issues such as communication, movement, self-care, dis-inhibition and aggression
  • carry out expert management of dysphagia and PEG feeding
  • address, monitor and maintain optimal physical health

Person-centred assessment & treatment

Our staff has extensive experience in supporting patients with HD.  Their goal is to facilitate and maximise function and quality of life, whilst ensuring the best possible support for individual autonomy.

Each patient is provided with a tailored treatment programme that is designed in conjunction with the multidisciplinary team (MDT) and in line with our treatment aims, to maximise functional independence and good physical and mental health.

To support our care planning we routinely use:

  • RAID®   (Reinforce Appropriate: Implode Disruptive)
  • Dementia Care Mapping   (DCM)
  • Overt-Aggression Scale – modified for Neurorehabilitation    (OAS-MNR)
  • HoNOS secure

 The goals of our care plans on Harper are to: 

>  ensure the safety of the patient and others
>  provide a multi-disciplinary assessment and formulation of individual needs
>  create an environment and culture that will improve psychological wellbeing
>  offer the maximum opportunities for positive behaviour
>  support the maintenance of skills and an enhanced quality of life
>  effect the changes necessary to help the patient move to a less restrictive setting
>  to progress to an environment closer to their own home
>  reduce the impact of cognitive deficits and associated behavioural disturbances
>  develop stabilisation for each person
>  optimise functional independence

A Unique environments for unique needs

Our environments meet the unique physical and therapeutic needs of patients with HD and reflect our warm, positive and empathic approach. We have created safe, comfortable, structured but flexible units for our patients, providing homely environments to optimise:

  • independence
  • quality of life
  • respect and choice

"Specialist equipment such as CareFlex™ chairs allow patients to be mobile and provide safe transitions between areas, helping to prevent falls"  Occupational Therapist

Our facilities

Wide corridors, door-frames and wet-rooms ensure that therapy and living areas are fully accessible for those requiring disabled access.   Patients also have access to our 140-acre campus, which provides interesting venues to explore during family visits, and a range of other activities, including; 

  • indoor and outdoor gyms
  • patient café’s
  • 2 x swimming pools
  • access to Workbridge vocational services (find out more here)
  • patient library
  • A chapel and multi-faith facilities
  • Hairdresser
  • garden centre and cafés
  • beautician
  • patient recreation centre

Our Location

Next steps

Our Discharge Co-ordinators begins discharge planning from the point of admission.  Working with our clinical and social work teams they formulate plans and liaise with appropriate case managers to support a smooth transition.