Ward security level: 
Limited beds available

This image shows a room in O'ConnellO’Connell is a 22-bed locked unit specialising in providing specialist services for older men aged over 55 with acquired, static or progressive neurological conditions or enduring mental health needs.




A specialist team

The comprehensive multidisciplinary team (MDT) is expert in the management of challenging behaviour, including agitation, overt aggression, sexual disinhibition and self-harm, as well as forensic risk. Patients typically have cognitive impairment as a result of:

  • the onset of a progressive neurological disorder, such as dementia or Huntington’s disease
  • a long history of mental illness
  • underlying learning difficulties
  • mild cognitive impairment emerging in later life
  • a stable brain injury resulting in cognitive impairment and dementia, not requiring active rehabilitation
  • brain damage secondary to vascular disease and events such as stroke
  • Alzheimer’s disease, Lewy Body and frontal-temporal dementia
  • challenging behaviour which compromises the safety of self or others
  • forensic or absconding risk requiring a managed locked environment
  • physical impairments or medical conditions that require significant levels of management.


Person-centred assessment guides our treatment

Our team use specialist assessment and psychiatric treatments in line with the 2013 Royal College of Psychiatry Old Age recommendation on use of common outcome measures. They help ensure that patient dignity is at the heart of our care and 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)
  • Gerriatric Depression Scale (GDS)
  • HoNOS secure.


A tailored environment

O’Connell has 22 single bedrooms and is designed around a ‘dementia-friendly’ environment including, for example, signage that aids memory and prompts behaviour and recall. Facilities include:

  • two lounges with a TV in each
  • a dining room
  • a multi-function therapy room
  • a servery for staff to prepare hot and cold drinks
  • access to an enclosed garden
  • a visitors room
  • a therapy kitchen
  • a clinic
  • adapted bathrooms to cater for mobility difficulties.


Discharge plan

Our social work team ensures that discharge planning is actively considered throughout the patient’s stay, and that the process itself is smooth. They liaise heavily with community teams and consider all opportunities for leave to a new placement where and when it is appropriate, providing a full handover to make sure each patient is settled.