A 22-bed locked forensic unit with two separate Admission and Active Care environments, specialising in services for older males with acquired, static or progressive neurological conditions.

O’Connell North & South are two unit-based environments that each focus on the cognitive, physical and behavioural management of patients with a progressive neurological condition (including those with a forensic history).

North - An admission and stabilisation unit
South - An active care unit

Admissions Criteria

We support men who are aged over 55 and have: 
• a formal psychiatric or neurological diagnosis
• the onset of a progressive neurological disorder, such as dementia or Huntington’s disease (HD)
• a stable brain injury resulting in cognitive impairment and dementia, not requiring active rehabilitation
• co-morbid physical or mental health needs
• mild cognitive impairment emerging in later life
• brain damage secondary to vascular disease and events such as stroke
• Alzheimer’s disease, Lewy Body and frontal-temporal dementia
• a forensic or absconding risk requiring a managed locked environment
• a history of emotional and behavioural difficulties including aggression tounits others and who are considered a risk to themselves or others
• difficulties with self-regulation and control
• problems in interpersonal relationships
• a history of treatment resistance
• a history of non-compliance with prescribed medication
• been detained under either civil or criminal provisions of the Mental Health Act 1983 (amended 2007).

Person-centred assessment guides our treatment

Our team use specialist assessment and psychiatric treatments in line with Royal College of Psychiatry Old Age recommendations to help ensure that patient dignity is at the heart of our care and to guide us in our therapies and interventions.

We routinely use:

  • Dementia Care Mapping (DCM)
  • RAID® (Reinforce Appropriate: Implode Disruptive)
  • Overt-Aggression Scale – modified for Neurorehabilitation (OAS-MNR)
  • Geriatric Depression Scale (GDS)
  • HoNOS secure.

Our comprehensive multi-disciplinary team (MDT) is expert in the management of challenging behaviour, including agitation, overt aggression, sexual disinhibition and self-harm, as well as those with a forensic history.

Therapeutic Design

Our therapeutic environment is designed to create a welcoming and reinforcing experience for patients in our care.

In partnership with patients and their family our MDT construct programmes that utilise a full range of psychological and occupational therapy programmes which:

>  are highly structured and tailored to the individual
>  provide constant guidance and support
>  reinforce appropriate behaviour and skills
>  cater for those with intensive, complex acute needs
>  support patients towards the end of their recovery journey
>  are delivered by an extensive full-time team
>  offer individual and group therapy experiences
>  address functional and behavioural issues
>  support communication, movement, self-care, dis-inhibition and aggression

The goals of interventions on O'Connell North & South are to:

>  ensure the safety of the patient and others
>  provide a MDT assessment strengths and needs
>  provide a formulation plan that will inform risk management and care planning
>  offer the optimal opportunities for positive behaviour and achievement of skills
>  offer individual and group therapies
>  ensure skill development and an enhanced quality of life
>  support a move to a less secure setting / closer to their own home

Next steps

Our Discharge Co-ordinators begins discharge planning from the point of admission. Working with our clinical and social work teams they formulate plans and liaise with appropriate case managers to support a smooth transition.

Typically patients will spend 9-18 months on the O'Connell wards before moving along our care pathway to a less-restrictive environment or returning to their home area.

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