All about Ash Ward at Gateway Recovery Centre, Widnes

Ash Ward at Gateway Recovery Centre is a specialist inpatient service for older men with complex mental and physical health needs. The service accepts men with a primary diagnosis of dementia or related neuropsychiatric conditions.

We aim to maintain and improve quality of life and ensure that each patient’s personal choices are understood and respected.

In Brief…
  • Focus on quality of life
  • Person-centred support tailored to the individual
  • Dementia friendly environment
  • Enhanced physical healthcare provision
  • Warm and homely environment
  • Full multi-disciplinary team
  • Wide range of therapeutic activities
Focus on the Individual

The team ‘see the person’ and not the mental or physical illness, valuing each person as a unique individual. 

Staff provide person centred care in a warm and homely environment. We use life stories with the patient in collaboration with the patient’s family whilst simultaneously maximising the patient’s potential to ‘live well’ with their mental illness.

We strive to preserve and maintain the dignity, individuality and privacy of all our patients within a warm and friendly atmosphere, and in doing so will be sensitive to our patient’s ever-changing needs.  We encourage our patients to participate in the development of their individual care plans, in which the involvement of family and friends may be appropriate and is highly valued.

An environment designed specifically for this patient group

Latest guidance regarding dementia friendly environments has informed the design and décor of Ash ward. The ward includes features such as

  • Naturally well lit, homely environment
  • Accessible bathrooms
  • Safe garden area
  • Sensory areas
  • Smaller social areas
  • Clutter free
  • Contrasting use of colour and colour coded areas
  • Family visiting rooms on and off the ward
Enhanced physical healthcare provision

Ash Ward provides qualified nursing staff as well as in in-house Practice Nurse (RGN) and a Physical Healthcare Assistant. The service benefits from a full multidisciplinary team.

The service has strong working relationships with the local GPs to ensure that the in reach GP service is closely aligned with the hospital’s medical and nursing team. There are weekly GP clinics are held on site.

The team also have strong links with the local hospital’s geriatric department with Pharmacist input, to manage the polypharmacy that is common in the older population.

Patient profile

We can accept referrals for men with primary diagnosis of dementia or related neuropsychiatric conditions. Patients may also have;

  • Physical illness or frailty contributes to, or complicates, the management of their mental health problem. This may include men under 65 years of age.
  • Psychiatric or neuropsychological and social difficulties whose needs are best met by an inpatient service for older men, this would typically include those aged 65 years and over
  • Risks or challenging behaviours that cannot be managed safely in the community, nursing homes or residential settings

We can support people subject to Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS) or those who are detained under the Mental Health Act 1983 (amended 2007).

Nicola Howells, Ward Manager, said:

“We are very pleased to be in a positon to open this much needed service for local people. Ash Ward has been designed specifically to be a dementia friendly environment. We have paid particular attention to colour schemes, memory aids and assistive technology that will allow our residents to have a good quality of life. There is a great demand for services of this type and we hope it will allow local people who require the service to get the care they need near to their families and friends.”

For more information about Ash ward at Gateway Recovery Centre, please contact Fiona Thornton.