Improving ‘Ward 18’, Priestley Unit, Dewsbury District Hospital

This engagement is CLOSED


Ward 18 is a mixed-sex inpatient ward for working-age adults on the Priestley unit at Dewsbury and District Hospital. It Image of Dewsbury hospital entrance sign provides 24-hour support to people experiencing mental health conditions. The ward aims to provide a relaxing environment for people experiencing serious mental health condition that requires inpatient treatment.

Who did you consult with and what did you ask?

We engaged with over 60 service users staying on ward 18 and in the community with support from peer support workers around their in-patient admission.  We asked people to tell us their views using the following prompts:

  • Thinking about the future what would a good recovery service look like?
  • What worked well?
  • What activities would we need to include and what other provisions would help support you during your admission?
  • Is there anything else you would like to tell us about your experience of using mental health services in North Kirklees?

What did they tell you?

From all those that we spoke to the key emerging themes from this engagement were:

  • To provide opportunities for more creative interventions on the wards, people told us that this would support their mental health and well-being.
  • To identify opportunities that would focus on reducing boredom, for some people a long stay on the ward can be mean long days. people want to feel they have a purpose and be more involved
  • More peer support would be helpful on the wards, this includes having someone to talk to, to support them or give a voice.
  • People also stated it would be helpful to converse with others i.e. do some group work, or one to one support.

What did you do?

A volunteer with a background in mental health nursing who was also a bibliotherapist was approached to set up and run bibliotherapy sessions on ward 18.  The sessions take place twice a month on Ward 18, and have been particularly successful. A further volunteer has now been identified to support this work funded through the Trust’s Creative Minds. This volunteer has lived experience which ensures peer support.

This group has not only enhanced the activity provision on ward 18 but has helped to embrace equality. Both ward 18 and ward 19 patients can use the group so wars now meet each other. The volunteers help the Trust support patients and empower others.

Where can you find more information about this work?

To find out more about this work contact Judith Roberts – Occupational Therapy Manager  by emailing

Engagement locations: Kirklees, South Yorkshire, West Yorkshire

Page last updated on:

View all engagements and consultations