Women's Mental Health - medium secure

Bracken ward focuses primarily on admission, assessment and stabilisation.

The philosophy of care on Bracken is based on recognition that an individual has strengths as well as needs, and a right to receive support, treatment and care from multi-disciplinary teams (MDTs) to assist recovery.

The aim is to enable progress along the treatment pathway to enable recovery, rehabilitation and accommodation in an appropriate environment, with the least restrictions possible.

Our goals are to re-establish behavioral control, analyse and address the variables prompting dangerous behaviours and hospitalisation, actively treat illness, and provide skills to reduce and manage crises.

Bracken activity room

Arts and crafts room

Bracken outside courtyard web

Outside courtyard for exercise and fresh air

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Branch Out Cafe

Admissions criteria

Women aged 18-65 on admission who have a diagnosis of severe emotional, psychiatric and behavioural difficulties; pose a significant risk of harming themselves or others and require care within a medium secure environment.

Once assessed and stabilised patients will typically step through to either Stowe, our specialist psychosis plus treatment and recovery ward, or Seacole,  if their care and treatment needs are of a personality disorder nature. 


We use the key principles of Rapid Assessment, Interface and Discharge (RAID) on the ward and provide positive, meaningful engagement and reinforcement.

We have developed a unique psychosocial manualised treatment programme in our medium and low secure services in response to the complex treatment needs of our women.

Our programme is based on our assessment of core needs and is gender sensitive and gender specific. We have developed 15 treatment manuals that follow a common model. Participant groups are formed around core and non-core treatments such as:

  •  dealing with feelings
  •  social problem solving
  •  interpersonal effectiveness
  •  understanding and overcoming substance misuse
  •  living with mental illness
  •  improving body image.

All groups are run by our trained in-house cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) therapists and psychologists with co-facilitation from the fully CBT trained multidisciplinary team (MDT). Outside of the groups women are encouraged to engage in both ‘homework’ and additional group sessions to ensure they understand and benefit from each group. This means that the benefits of the treatment extend beyond the group sessions into everyday life.

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