Learning disability services, County Durham and Darlington
Lanchester Road Hospital
Tel: 0191 4415846 / 0191 4415815
About the service
Bek Ward is an acute admission ward and is one of three units at Lanchester Road Hospital which provides inpatient care to adults with learning disabilities who need treatment for mental health problems or display severe challenges to services.
When individuals within this populaton are assessed as being no longer safe to manage in a community setting, then these people will be considered for an admission to Bek Ward.
Bek Ward is a six bedded mixed sex ward that provides short to medium term care for adults with learning disabilities and mental illness and/or risk related health needs from the County Durham and Darlington locality.
The ward provides a full range of assessment and treatment plans within a person-centred environment, where ward staff endeavour to work together with the patient, their family/carers and other parties involved to meet the needs of the patient.
The Bek Ward team
The ward team consists of a charge nurse, a deputy charge nurse, staff nurses, assistant practitioners and nursing assistants, the latter trained to nationally recognised standards (NVQ 2 and 3).
All staff are equipped with the training needed to meet the challenges of an acute setting and work as part of a wider multi disciplinary team (MDT).
The MDT includes primarily psychiatrists, psychologists, care coordinators (community nurses or social workers) and commissioned provider staff, but frequently includes occupational therapy, physiotherapy, speech and language therapy, health facilitation service, behaviour practitioners, forensic practitioners and assertive outreach and crisis teams.
How to access the service and the patient's journey
Most admissions to Bek occur as a result of an acute or emergency situation in the community which can no longer be safely managed in that setting – these are usually related to mental illness and/or behaviours which challenge existing risk plans and social norms.
From the point of admission there is an intense scrutiny of the individual and the circumstances leading to the admission. As many services are potentially involved during this period, as well as family and advocates and legal representatives, the need for clear and accurate communication is important, whilst ensuring that this is balanced with the legal rights protecting the individual.
The key areas of independence, rights, choice and inclusion are promoted throughout the patient's journey and are woven into the fabric of the intervention and treatment plans that follow assessment.
During a stay on Bek Ward patients can expect to be supported by a large team of staff. There are weekly ward rounds led by clinical staff where assessment and treatment is reviewed and all aspects of care are considered and planned for (including discharge planning).
Bek operates a key/primary nurse system with a view to developing a trusting professional relationship, though patients are aware that they can approach any staff at any time for advice and/or support.
Bek can be a very busy ward and patients can pose significant challenges at times, but patients, families and significant others can be assured that safety is a paramount concern at all times, with stringent external and internal monitoring systems in place.
As the patient progresses through their inpatient stay, attention inevitably turns more to discharge related issues, and at this stage the patient and the supporting family and MDT will discuss whether a stay on one of Bek’s sister wards (Ramsey or Talbot) is an option in terms of rehabilitation or whether the patient will aim to be discharged from Bek. This process usually involves considerable planning and staff are available to support the patient through what can be a very exciting but stressful and daunting time.
About Bek Ward
There are six bedrooms within Bek Ward, one of which is available with adaptations for those with mobility and movement related needs, and two of the bedrooms are identified as female beds.
There is a communal assisted bathroom and communal toilets, as well as ensuite shower, basin and toilet facilities in all rooms.
All bedrooms are equipped with bed linen, two sets of drawers (one set lockable), lockable wardrobe, lockable bedside cabinet and armchair.
A TV, DVD player and CD player are available for patient loan at the discretion of the nurse in charge.
Patients can have their own room key, if agreed safe by the team.
There is a kitchen from where all meals are prepared by suitably trained ward staff and patients are encouraged to participate in this when well enough to do so.
Lounge and dining area
There is a lounge with a large TV and DVD player available for use by all residents and an adjacent dining room with ample space for activities when not being used for meal times.
There is a ‘quiet room’ which is dedicated space for patients to remove themselves from the hustle and bustle of a busy ward or to allow themselves time to think (and maybe talk) without distraction or interruption.
Bek staff and residents have access to a communal laundry room which has a washing machine and dryer (no charge). Towels and linen are sent for cleaning from this room.
There is a ward office/clinic, and from here all administrative duties are conducted by the ward team and the hub of the ward for clinical issues – this is a busy space and is for staff only. Valuable items and money (up to £40) can be safely stored in this area if patients are unable or unwilling to securely store on their person or in their room. There is also a larger clinical space within the ward complex and other rooms for administrative duties.
There are two garden areas attached to Bek Ward. One a more open space which has a smoking shelter and a large grassed area for exercise, sports or relaxing. The second is a small fully enclosed garden with a range of safe and attractive plants, decorations and seating (much like an outdoor quiet area).
There are a variety of activities available on the ward and a large activity store cupboard helps to widen the choice available for to residents.
There is a structured activity plan each day, but staff will support patients in managing a personal timetable if these activities are not suitable.
Information boards are available in the corridors and include information about patient care, trust information, hotel services and patient feedback.
This contains useful information about aspects of health and social care and is situated in the large meeting room.
A ward clerk is available to assist with post and other enquiries.
Housekeepers will be entering the ward throughout the day to help keep areas clean.
GFM (facilities management) staff will be entering the building to assist with the maintenance of the building and check any electrical equipment that residents bring with them for safety reasons.
Visitors should use the main car park and sign in at reception. Disabled parking is available. Car parking is monitored by an external company (Excel Parking). Please park according to notices displayed in the car park.
Facilities on the ward
The following facilities are available to the ward:
Visiting is flexible on Bek Ward but visitors are asked to discuss visiting times with the nurse in charge and to avoid protected meal times. Visitors are encouraged to visit off the unit in visitors rooms, provided to ensure privacy and dignity of other clients.
Visitors are not permitted to smoke on the ward and are not permitted to smoke in any trust building or grounds.
The trust operates a children's visiting policy which applies to all children up to the age of 18. Residents or visitors are asked to check with the nurse in charge to make arrangements to ensure safety of children who may wish to visit the unit. A responsible adult should accompany children when visiting.
Meal times (protected)
Breakfast: flexible on rising
Lunch: 12.00noon to 1.00pm
Evening meal: 5.00pm to 6.00pm
Snacks are available on request.
Everyone is encouraged to get up and dressed in time for breakfast and take part in activities.
There is a vending machine in the main reception area and a café which is available Monday to Friday.
Dietary, health, religious, and cultural beliefs will be accommodated.