This information covers many areas, but is split into categories so that you can find the topics that are important to you.  Of course, this is not meant as a replacement for staff who are always ready to deal with your questions and concerns.

If you have any questions after reading this, please do not hesitate to ask.


Welcome to Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys NHS Foundation Trust

Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys NHS Foundation Trust (TEWV) aims to always deliver safe and effective care that meets individual needs and supports people towards well-being and recovery.

We recognise that being admitted to hospital can be a very distressing and frightening experience. We hope to work with you to understand what is important to you, and how we can best meet your needs and offer the right support.

We aim to provide a safe, warm and therapeutic environment and support you to return home as quickly as possible. The ward staff are here to support you and your relatives/friends (carers) and are available if you have any worries or concerns.



We understand that being in hospital can be a difficult but we are here to support you and help you to recover.

In mental health services the term ‘recovery’ is used to describe the experiences and journeys of people as they work towards living a meaningful and satisfying life. 

Recovery principles focus on the whole person for example, what makes that person thrive.

Five key factors, known as CHIME, have been identified as being central to recovery and wellbeing.


CHIME factors

  • Connectedness – being able to and /or having the opportunity to  feel connected to something or other people


  • Hope - having hope for the future or to feel hopeful that there can be better moments in what can be difficult times.


  • Identity – maintaining or developing an identity beyond that of a mental health patient and/or diagnosis/someone with a learning disability


  • Meaning – having meaning in life such as opportunities, roles and things to enjoy. This also includes finding meaning in the distressing experiences people are suffering.


  • Empowerment – Having choice and control in your life and surrounding your care.


Supporting carers (Triangle of Care)

We are implementing best practice national guidelines from the Triangle of Care.  This was developed by the Carers Trust to introduce key standards and recognise relative/friends of patients (referred to as carers) as partners in care delivery.  It encourages patients, carers and professionals to work together to promote your safety, recovery and well-being by providing carers with information, advice and support.  If you would like more information about the Triangle of Care, please ask staff for a copy of the Carers Trust leaflet.

You will be asked for the name of a relative or friend who you would like to be updated and involved in your care and treatment.  If you do not want anyone to be involved, we use a common sense approach to supporting carers.

We will not disclose information about you but we will listen to carers and offer general information about our services treatments and details of carer support organisations.   We have patient and carer information available about common sense confidentiality which explains our approach to sharing information. If you would like to see this please ask a member of staff.


Coming into hospital - what can I expect?

Everybody’s experience when coming into hospital will be different. For some people it can be a very stressful experience, especially if it is the first time or if it was not your choice to come.  When coming into hospital you can expect:


  • to be shown  around the ward by a nurse,
  • to be introduced to staff and shown where you can safely leave your things (any items of value can be given to staff for safe keeping or relatives to take home)
  • entry and departure from the ward to be controlled for the safety of our patients
  • to be treated with respect and dignity at all times
  • to feel safe on the ward
  • to come to a shared understanding of what your needs are and the options available to support them
  • to be given information about different treatment options and supported to make choices about these
  • to make shared decisions
  • your records to be kept confidential
  • relatives and loved ones to be kept informed of your progress, with your consent
  • to have access to an advocate if you need one
  • to be given written information about your rights if you are in hospital under the mental health act – your nearest relative will also receive this
  • to be given a leaflet about how your information is processed and shared as part of your care. Please see Data Protection 2018 (General Data Protection Regulation 2016).


Who’s who on the ward?

The ward can feel like a very busy place. There are many different professionals that have different roles and make up the multi-disciplinary team (MDT). Staff wear name badges and will introduce themselves to you. The people involved in your care may include:

  • modern matron
  • ward manager
  • clinical lead, ward sister or charge nurse
  • staff nurse
  • associate practitioner
  • occupational therapists and assistants
  • trainee clinical staff
  • healthcare assistants
  • psychologists and assistants
  • doctors and junior doctors
  • psychiatrists
  • pharmacists
  • chaplains
  • volunteers
  • housekeeping staff.


Some wards have a photograph board to show who everyone is.


Named nurse

You will be allocated a named nurse on admission who will support you throughout your stay and plan your recovery with you. 

Your named nurse, with your permission, will answer any questions that your carers ask relating to your treatment and progress.

When your named nurse is off duty you will be allocated a contact nurse.  This is the nurse you can go to if you have any problems or concerns.  Discussing your problems and treatment with your named nurse, or the nurse allocated to you in their absence, ensures continuity of care.

If at any time you feel you are unable to build up a satisfactory relationship with your named nurse, for whatever reason, please discuss the issues with the ward manager or deputy.  You can go to any member of the nursing staff with your questions or concerns.

If at any point throughout your admission you wish to meet with your consultant or any other member of the ward team, please inform staff and they will try to arrange this for you.


Consultant psychiatrist/approved clinician

While you are a patient on the ward a consultant psychiatrist or Approved Clinician will be responsible for your care. They are present on the ward most days and work closely with all other members of the ward team.

If at any point you wish to have a second opinion by another doctor please discuss this with ward staff.

Staff wear name badges and will introduce themselves when they are involved in caring for you. If you are not sure who a person is, please ask.


What support and treatment can I expect on the ward?

On your first day of admission you will meet with staff and discuss why you have been admitted into hospital.  You will be offered a physical examination to identify any physical health needs you may have so that we can provide appropriate care.

Within three working days there will be a formulation meeting. This is your opportunity to meet with staff to identify what your needs are and plan your care and treatment. A family member or loved one will be invited to this meeting with your permission.

As part of the formulation meeting, leave from the ward should be discussed. This will be decided on an individual basis and will depend upon risk. Your care team should discuss this with you. You may have the opportunity to have supported leave, home visits and overnight leave during your stay. This may increase over time.

The care team meet to discuss your care and how it is going on a daily basis. 

You may be offered different treatment options whilst on the ward including medication, psychological assessment and interventions or support, occupational therapy and various activities.

Staff will be happy to discuss treatment options with you and written information about different treatments and the side-effects are available. If you have concerns about medication or side effects, pharmacy staff are also available to discuss this with you.

Staff are available to listen and offer support at any time during your stay on the ward.

At the appropriate time, a meeting with you and your family will be held to plan your discharge and after care. We hope to support a smooth transition home and make sure you have appropriate support following discharge.

To help us monitor your recovery you will be asked to complete a short survey called a patient reported outcome measure.  This assesses your mental well-being at a given point. It can help you and your care team monitor your progress and can show how helpful services have been in promoting your recovery.

Following discharge you will be offered a follow up visit. A discharge summary will also be sent to your GP informing them about your admission.


What you may need while you are on the ward

We recommend you bring a few changes of clothes, some nightwear and toiletries

You may want to bring your mobile phone, tablet or small computer and a small amount of cash on to the ward. You will be provided with a safe for valuables. However please bear in mind that the Trust does not accept responsibility for any loss or damage to these items whilst on the ward.


Wards can provide

  • clean bedding and towels
  • laundry facilities
  • tea and coffee making facilities
  • all meals.


Practical help

If you have practical things that need to be managed whilst you are in hospital, such as looking after pets, paying bills, benefits, please speak to ward staff who can support you to get these sorted.


What you will not be able to keep on the ward:

  • large amounts of cash and credit cards are not advisable - please ask your relatives/friends to take these, but if this is not possible please give to staff for safe keeping
  • razors will be provided by the nursing staff if you need one
  • cigarettes, lighters (and lighter fuel/gas) and matches (smoking is not permitted anywhere on Trust premises, including the grounds.  Smoking cessation, including nicotine replacement therapy, is available for patients who want to give up smoking while in hospital.  The use of   e-cigarettes is allowed.  Please speak to a member of staff for advice)
  • for your safety staff may ask you to hand in articles that may be harmful to you or others for example sharp objects, glass articles and electrical chargers
  • alcohol and illicit substances are not allowed on Trust premises.


Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys NHS Foundation Trust operates a ‘zero tolerance’ approach to the possession, use and dealing of substances on Trust premises.

Any suspicious activities will be reported to the police.  If you see anyone acting suspiciously or discover any items you think may be drug related on the premises - please tell a member of staff.  


Possessions, valuables and money

We will ask to look through your belongings when you are admitted to the ward and may ask to do this again on other occasions should staff have reason to believe that you have items in your possession that could be a danger to yourself or others. This is for your safety and the safety of other people on the ward. 

If you have any medication please give this to the nurse who will store it for you or dispose of it.

If there is no one else to look after your valuables, please give them to a member of staff who will arrange safe keeping.  The Trust cannot accept responsibility for loss or damage to your personal property unless it is handed in and a receipt is obtained for it. 

We would strongly advise that you do not exchange property, items and/or belongings and loan any money to others. Please talk to staff if you have any concerns.


Shared code of conduct

To make sure the ward is a safe environment for everybody we ask that:

  • staff, patients and carers, at all times, to treat each other with the same respect, dignity and consideration that they would expect - violence and aggression will not be tolerated.
  • people respect each other’s privacy and do not go in other people’s bedrooms without permission
  • everyone treats the ward environment with respect, keeping the ward as clean and tidy as possible - damage to property will not be tolerated
  • people are considerate of others when using TV and music systems
  • mobile phones or other devices are not used for photography or recording in any form
  • you inform a member of staff when you wish to leave the ward and when you return.

If someone is behaving in a way that is making you feel unsafe please confide in a member of staff or an advocate.


Ward environment

Same sex accommodation

The vast majority of patients who are admitted to any of our hospitals will be cared for in a ward where they will have their own bedroom, many with en-suite washing and toilet facilities. 

In the small number of wards where there is more than one bed in a bedroom, patients will only share the room where they sleep with members of the same sex.  Same sex toilets and bathrooms will be close to their bed area and clearly signed. This means that any mixed sex accommodation is virtually eliminated.

Male and female patients may share day areas such as lounges, activity rooms and kitchens. Where there is a need for patients to pass through an area designated for the opposite sex, staff will accompany them, where possible, to make sure everyone feels comfortable.

In some exceptional circumstances you may find that upon your return from period/s of leave you may have been moved to a different bedroom than the one you left.



Meals are served in the dining room and if you have any special dietary needs because of medications, health, religious or cultural beliefs, please inform any member of staff. There could be a risk to you if food brought into hospital is not stored or handled responsibly.

Please discuss arrangements for bringing food onto the ward with ward staff.



Keeping occupied on the ward - What some people do?

Many people bring in their favourite past times such as music, books, games, puzzles, musical instruments or hobby materials.

What hospitals can offer?

Wards often have spaces for crafts or other activities and TV lounges where DVDs can be played as well as allowing you to keep up with your favourite TV shows.

Many hospitals are equipped with gyms, libraries, cooking facilities, gardens and public café facilities.  Staff will try to support you in accessing these or other activities you would like to try.


Staying in touch

We understand the importance of relationships and how they can support you on your way to recovery. During your stay in hospital we would like to support you to stay in touch with your relatives/friends.  

Mobile phones are allowed on the ward. However please be aware that signal strength can be patchy. If you do not have a mobile phone or can’t get signal, there is a ward phone you can use. Some of our wards have an internet abled PC and staff and maybe able to arrange internet access for you. Please be aware that the phone and PC are shared between all patients on the ward.



Your named nurse will advise you of the ward visiting times. 

We recognise that visiting times may not always be suitable for your carers.  Please discuss this with staff who will try to find alternatives and negotiate other times. If you wish to have your visit in private please talk to staff and they can help arrange this.

To reduce the risk of infection we ask that carers refrain from visiting if they have suffered from, or have been exposed to, sickness (vomiting) and/or diarrhoea in the last 48 hours;

Visitors are not permitted to smoke on the ward or in any Trust buildings or grounds.

We would ask that your visitors do not bring any sharp items or objects, including razors, glass articles or equivalent onto the ward whilst visiting.

Alcohol and illicit substances are not permitted.

Please talk to staff if you have any concerns and/or if you are asked to bring any items onto the ward.


Child visiting

This Trust supports helpful and positive contact between children/young people and their parents/carers.

The Trust operates a child visiting policy which applies to all children up to the age of 18 years. 

All visits by children must be pre-arranged with ward staff to ensure the visit can occur.  A responsible adult must accompany the child when visiting.  Child visiting will take place in an allocated room to allow privacy for all parties. 


Fire alarms

There will be a weekly fire alarm test.  If the fire alarms are activated at any other time, staff will direct you to a safe area within the hospital.


Listening to and learning from patients and carers

We continually strive to improve our services and would be pleased to receive your comments.

If you would like any further information about the services we provide, please ask a member of staff.


Useful information

Patient advice and liaison service (PALS)

Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys NHS Foundation Trust has a Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) available for mental health and learning disability services.

PALS is available for patients and their carers to discuss any comments, concerns or suggestions about the care you are receiving. 

PALS officers can also provide advice and information about services provided by the Trust.

If you have a specific concern or query about the care you are receiving you should first try to raise it with the nursing or medical staff who will try to resolve it or answer your questions.

If they are unable to help, or you would prefer not to speak to a member of ward staff about your concern, please contact the Patient Advice and Liaison Service whoa re available Monday - Friday bewtween 9am and 4pm:

Freephone: 0800 052 0219

Mobile: 07775 518086

If a PALS officer is not available immediately, your details will be taken and they will return your call or visit the ward on request to discuss your concern or query.  They will aim to resolve the issue quickly.

The PALS officers have experience in resolving queries and concerns, but if they are unable to help to your satisfaction, they can advise and help you make a formal complaint.

If you would prefer to make a formal complaint and not access PALS, you can write to:


The complaints manager

Patient experience department

Flatts Lane Centre

Flatts Lane





Click here for further information about the Trust’s PALS service and formal complaints procedure.


Access to an interpreter

Every patient whose first language is not English, or who has communication needs, has the right to access a professional interpreter.

Professional interpreters should also explain relevant information about treatment and care to carers and family members whose preferred language is not English.

Ward staff will make arrangements for translation and sign language interpreters if necessary.


Chaplaincy service

The Trust chaplains provide for the religious, spiritual and pastoral needs of patients, carers and staff throughout the whole Trust.  Chaplains will not impose their own beliefs on anyone but rather help people through their own questions to come to their own conclusions.  Chaplains are happy to see anyone who wishes to talk to them, whatever they wish to talk about.

Religiously the Chaplaincy department is multi-faith and aims to provide for religious needs whatever a person’s faith.  We can pray with people, bring communion and hear confessions.  We also have prayer mats, Korans and can point you in the direction of Makkah and have materials of all the major world faiths.  We also have links with faith leaders from all communities and can put you in touch with leaders of churches, mosques, temples.

Useful telephone numbers

NHS 111


Mental Health Matters Helpline

(6 pm- 6 am)

0800 052 7350

Care Quality Commission

03000 616161


(friendly confident drugs advice)

0300 123 6600



08457 909090

Family Lives

0808 800 2222

Citizens Advice Bureau

08444 111 444


Citizens Advice Bureau

The Citizens Advice Bureau is a generalist advice agency and so is able to advise on a wide range of subjects such as:  education; employment; benefit entitlement; money matters; disability support and consumer issues.

They can provide:

  • alternative options
  • someone to speak on your behalf
  • a representative at tribunals.


Equality and diversity

  • we recognise and address the varying needs and wishes of different social groups
  • we maximise the inclusion and participation of patients and carers, and their freedom to exercise choice
  • we aim to ensure a positive experience for all individuals from all groups within the community.


Leaflet reference:




Date last updated:

15 / 05 / 2018

Archive date:

15 / 05 / 2021




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