Merlin ward provides psychiatric assessment and care for adult male patients with a diagnosis of a mental illness.
The average admission length is between 6-12 months. After this time, it is hoped that you will have been moved to a more suitable setting – whether that be towards a low secure ward or a community setting.
|Ward manager:||Richard Lambert|
|Clinical lead:||Justin York & Rebecca Thomson|
Philosophy of care
The philosophy of care for Merlin ward is that each patient is an individual who has the right to receive professional care in an environment which minimises the risk to the patient of harm from themselves and from others.
Patients will be supported in the lowest level of security for the shortest period, before returning to live in the community when appropriate.
The focus on the ward is to provide interventions to reduce the distress and functional impairment associated with the mental disorder of the individual and to promote recovery.
Merlin ward follows a timetable and has a seven-day activity programme. This programme has been co-created by ward staff and patients.
If you have any interests or hobbies, please discuss these with staff and we can consider if they can be incorporated into the session.
We have a daily motivational meeting and staff will let you know of any important information. You can also discuss if you can plan any leave for the following day if you have leave granted.
Meals and drinks
We provide three meals per day, always with a variety of choice. The weekly menus are on display in the dining room and alternate each week. You are also able to have your own snacks.
If you have any special dietary requirements (such as diabetic, vegetarian or cultural) we will inform the catering service.
The ward operates protected mealtimes, to make sure you have your meal with limited disruption. We therefore ask that professionals and carers avoid contacting the ward at mealtimes where possible.
The recovery academy
The recovery academy is a space where patients can attend a range of activities for leisure, interest or to learn new skills. They can also take on vocational roles in the gym, library and The Hive.
The team is made up recovery activity workers, ward-based activity co-ordinators and fitness instructors. There is an art and craft room, education room, print workshop, library, outdoor sports pitch, sports hall, fully equipped gymnasium and The Hive.
A timetable is planned to offer activities which are creative, practical, vocational, educational or can help to improve physical fitness. Some activity sessions need to be pre-booked in advance and others can be booked on the same day.
The timetable is changed every few months to keep it interesting and patients are invited to suggest ideas for future sessions.
Multi-disciplinary team (MDT)
On admission you will be appointed a named nurse and keyworkers who are responsible for your care. Each shift you will be allocated a member of staff as your point of contact for that shift, who will help to meet your needs.
During your stay on the ward you will be cared for by a team of professionals, this team will be made up of people who are the best placed to help you with your care needs.
This team is collectively called a multi-disciplinary team (MDT) and may include your responsible clinician, nursing team, psychologists, occupational therapists, social workers, dietitians, speech and language therapists and pharmacists.
The MDT will have regular meetings with you to discuss decisions about your treatment and goals for your care, you can also discuss any concerns that you may have.
The ward has access to an allocated psychologist who will assess what treatment you may need whilst you are staying with us. The forensic services offer a number of psychological treatments and these may be delivered as group sessions and/or 1:1 sessions as appropriate.
Occupational therapy is a treatment and a profession. Occupational therapists are interested in how people live their lives. They help people to become as able as possible. Occupational therapists use ‘doing’ as the therapy to support people to be able to complete necessary and enjoyable activities of daily living.
The occupational therapist will firstly complete an assessment by observing how the person is currently managing in all areas of ‘occupational performance’ and make recommendations. Following this the person and therapist agree occupational goals to work towards during therapy treatment which may include:
- Build self-belief to engage in activity
- Build enjoyment when engaging in activity
- Explore future activity options and choice making
- Establish productive and valued daily routines
- Establish productive and valued roles
- Establish activities that support sensory regulation for coping
- Develop independent living skills (e.g. cooking, budgeting, vocations)
- Develop organisation and problem solving within activity
- Develop communication and interaction skills within activity
- Develop supportive social relationships and networks
- Develop stability and movement to participate in activity
- Environmental changes to support engagement in activities including assistive aids/devices.
- Supporting transitions in new physical and social environments
- Carer education and support
- Consultation, liaison and advice with other professionals
Secure inpatient services has a social work team, with each social worker allocated to their own ward to work collaboratively as part of the multi-disciplinary team and wider care team in delivering care, treatment, and support to patients. Social workers work across all mental health, learning disability and autism specific units with patients with a diverse range of needs.
Social workers support with child visiting procedures, safeguarding issues, financial matters, support service users to keep in touch with their family and carers and to involve family where appropriate, support them to access advocacy services, liaise with community teams and link in with MAPPA, The Ministry of Justice and the Victim Liaison Unit amongst other agencies to keep patients and the public safe.
Four social workers within the team are now trained in delivering dialectical behavioural therapy and co-facilitate skills groups on the wards as well as offering 1:1 programmes.
Speech and language therapy
The speech and language therapy (SLT) team within the secure inpatient service provide evidence-based communication assessment and therapeutic interventions, including ward-based one-to-one sessions and groupwork, to support patients with SLCN (speech, language and communication needs) in their journey towards recovery.
The team work closely with other professionals to provide support and advice and encourage environmental changes to promote inclusive communication.
The SLT team also provide evidence-based assessment and management of eating, drinking and swallowing difficulties (dysphagia), with the aim to manage risk whilst promoting patient well-being and enjoyment.
Recovery care planning
All wards within Ridgeway adopt a recovery focused approach to care planning. This ensures that the patient is placed at the heart of everything and that they are fully involved in planning their care and treatment. Patients and staff work together to plan the steps that need to be taken to help then on their recovery journey and progress towards discharge. This is then discussed in the person’s recovery meeting so that patients and the teams they work with are all working towards the same shared goals.
Every month a patient experience meeting (united voices) is held in the recovery college or online. A patient representative from each ward meets with healthcare professionals to discuss the service they receive at Ridgeway or their experience from other hospitals. The aim of the meeting is to improve the care and service provided within secure inpatient services.
We like to involve and support carers and families (where possible) in relation to your loved one’s care. If you would like to hear from us, we would be grateful if you could check we have your contact details. Once we have this information and consent from the patient in our care, we will do our best to involve you as much as we can.
Ridgeway has a fully equipped health centre where you can have access to a GP, dentist, physiotherapist and nurse practitioners. This allows quick access to address any medical problems or treatments you may need.
The Hive is a social space containing a café and shop within Ridgeway which patients can attend daily throughout the week.
The Hive offers a large selection of sundries available for purchase, as well as toiletries. It also gives patients the opportunity to meet up with others within the service and socialise.
The Hive hosts social activities on weekends such as quizzes and pool competitions. It has a TV, pool table, jukebox, arcade gaming machine and coffee machines.
From within the Hive, patients can also access the multi faith room.
Trust chaplaincy service
Within the hospital there is a team of chaplains/faith leaders who aim to provide for the religious, spiritual and pastoral needs of patients, carers and staff.
There is a multi-faith room within both The Hive and Dalesway at Roseberry Park. Here you can find a variety of facilities, including prayer mats.
Facilities at Dalesway
Dalesway is the name of the area outside of Ridgeway but still within Roseberry Park grounds. You may be granted leave to go here by your consultant. This area has a café a patient bank and a small shop.
You can book a visit anytime by calling the ward office. Please speak with the ward staff or contact the ward office who will advise you of the visiting times on the ward.
Visiting times can be flexible if visitors have a long way to travel or have difficulty attending during normal visiting times. You can ask the ward manager, or nominated deputy, to book visits outside of normal visiting times. On the ward we also have the use of a ward tablet where we can arrange virtual calls and meetings.
If you have leave granted by the multi-disciplinary team (MDT) you may also be able to arrange visits within the grounds of Roseberry Park if this has been booked in advance.
Any items brought to you by family or friends during a visit will need to be checked by a member of staff. Any prohibited items will be removed. Food and drink items will only be accepted if they are fully sealed. More information about which items are prohibited can be obtained from Ridgeway reception, please contact them on 01642 837400.
Alcohol and illicit substances must not be brought into Ridgeway. The trust operates a ‘zero tolerance’ approach to the use, possession or dealing of illicit substances on trust premises. Any person thought to be attempting to supply illicit substances will be reported to the police.
If you have concerns outside of normal visiting times, you will be able to contact the ward by telephone and discuss your worries with a member of staff.
If you have children that you would like to visit (a person under the age of 18) you must discuss this with your care team at the earliest opportunity. To ensure visits are in the best interests of the child, there is a child visiting policy that must be followed.
This includes requesting permission from the person who has parental responsibility for the child, consideration of the child’s wishes and also in most cases liaison with local social services.
No visitors under the age of 18 will be allowed access to the ward. If granted, visits will take place in the child visiting room near Ridgeway reception and will be supervised by at least two staff.
Child visits must be booked in advance to make sure the visiting room is available. All children visiting must be a relation to you.
Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys NHS Foundation Trust have a no smoking policy. Smoking advisors work within the service and will be able to provide support and guidance in relation to nicotine replacement therapy if you need to access this during your stay. E-cigarettes and vapes are not permitted inside Ridgeway. Further information about our policy is available on request.
To ensure the safety of our patients, carers, visitors and staff, a number of our premises are monitored by CCTV. These arrangements are covered by the Trust’s CCTV policy and signs are displayed outside all areas that are monitored by CCTV. If you wish to discuss obtaining access to any recordings, please contact the head of security for Ridgeway on 01642 837482.
Roseberry Park has close links with advocacy services and all patients are encouraged to access these services. Please ask a member of staff for further information.
Legal representation for mental health tribunals/solicitors
If you require legal representation from Middlesbrough or another area, please ask a member of staff for assistance. Please let staff know if you already have an appointed legal representative.
Alternatively please contact:
The Mental Health Act Office
Ground floor, Cleveland Way
Middlesbrough, TS4 3AF
L1053, v2, 06/09/2022 (Archive: 05/09/2025)