Our high dependency (high support) inpatient rehabilitation unit in Northampton, which is locked, provides care for women with severe and enduring mental health disorders and complex needs.
Thornton ward provides specialist rehabilitation services for women with mental health disorder, providing a recovery focused environment to facilitate discharge to successful community living.
Patients on Thornton will have either moved through St Andrew’s women’s mental illness pathway, which provides both medium and low secure care, or have been admitted from another provider or the community.
Our admission criteria is for women (or transgender women as per the Gender Recognition Act) over the age of 18, who have severe and enduring mental disorder and complex needs and who can be safely treated in a high dependence unit.
Patients will have a primary diagnosis of schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder, personality disorder, or ASD, usually with additional diagnoses.
Diagnosis would already have been made.
Patients may be treatment resistant.
Patients may also have:
Women who meet criteria for detention under the Mental Health Act 1983 or Criminal Procedure (Insanity and Unfitness to Plead) Act 1991. Women are likely to be detained under Sections 3, 37 and 47.
Informal with the agreement of the patient.
The service will be unable to meet the needs of patients with a primary diagnosis of moderate and severe intellectual disability or significant and progressive cognitive impairment, as well as a primary diagnosis of alcohol or substance misuse.
Thornton is unable to accommodate pregnant women.
The ethos of the Thornton is to create an recovery focused environment support and care is co-developed with patients and delivered to meet their specific needs.
By focusing more on relevant factors such as relational security and providing gender specific environments and interventions for the women in our care, recovery is optimised.
Gender-specific and gender-sensitive principles are evident throughout the pathway and therapy plans are adapted to meet the individual needs of each woman.
The Thornton pathway is supported by a comprehensive, in-house multi-disciplinary team with specific expertise in women’s rehabilitation, and access to the wider St Andrew’s and women’s services, enabling the specific needs of this patient group to be met.
More than 35 hours of therapy per week are offered, including:
There is a real emphasis on vocational and life skills to aid transition back in to the community and address the important issue of relapse prevention.
A comprehensive vocational pathway is provided for the women in our care through a combination of voluntary community placements with local providers, and Workbridge, part of St Andrew’s offering opportunities to take part in meaningful activities, and engaging in community life through a variety of activities.
The emphasis within the Thornton pathway is on developing a recovery focused programme of care:
The aim is for both patients and staff to work together towards establishing a true co-developed and co-delivered culture of care, conducive to enhancing recovery and rehabilitation.
"Thornton ward provides gender sensitive rehabilitation with a focus on supporting recovery and safety for women who may otherwise be vulnerable in a non-specialist environment.
Recovery is central to the ethos of Thornton unit, from ensuring that individual patient care is focussed on the patient’s goals and aspirations, to the ward management team including people with lived experience. Relational security is key to maintaining safety for all, with an emphasis on community based activities, leading to an atmosphere that provides hope."
Dr Shawn Mitchell
Consultant Psychiatrist, Thornton, St Andrew's
Working within the Section 117 after-care processes, a tailored discharge plan, including relapse prevention is implemented and coordinated by the multidisciplinary team. Working collaboratively with all the providers involved, the social work team work hard to ensure a seamless transition, working to MAPPA guidance (multi-agency public protection) where applicable.
St Andrew’s is able to offer highly bespoke community care packages supporting women with complex requirements for agreed periods of time, following discharge. Specific requirements can be discussed and funding agreed in advance with service commissioner.