Acute inpatient wards

Acute care deals with people who are experiencing a severe, short term episode of mental illness.

You will only be admitted onto an inpatient ward if you are experiencing serious mental distress which can’t be dealt with by a community service.

We aim to make sure that you receive the treatment in the best setting, to suit your needs and wishes. A very small proportion of people seen by our teams need to be treated in inpatient units. A stay in an inpatient ward is usually short-term.

Inpatient wards

We have four inpatient wards in the county in:

  • Boston,
  • Lincoln
  • Greylees near Sleaford.

These wards cover the whole of the county.

You will be assessed by the crisis resolution and home treatment team. If the crisis you are experiencing can not be dealt with in the community, with your agreement, we will seek to admit you on a short term basis for care on one of our wards. This will generally only be done if you are a risk to yourself and others or you have major stressors at home or in the community which may prevent your recovery.You will be consulted about admission and treatment options throughout the whole process.

Throughout your time on the unit you will:

  • be assessed on a regular basis
  • work with staff to arrange a medication regime
  • be helped to understand more about your condition and what you can do to help it.

Once it is felt you are ready for discharge, the team will work with you and your carer to devise a relapse prevention plan. Carers will be offered any help and advice they may need to help support you.The relapse plan will include signs and triggers which may cause or help you recognise if you start to deteriorate.

Where are the wards

Peter Hodgkinson Centre

Lincoln County Hospital site
Greetwell Road

Includes: Ellis (male ward) and Castle (female ward)


Ward 12

Department of Psychiatry
Pilgrim Hospital site
Sibsey Road
PE21 9QS

Includes: Ward 12 (mixed gender ward)


Ash Villa

Willoughby Rd
South Rauceby
NG34 8QA               

Includes: Ash Villa (female ward)

Your rights as an informal patient

Being an informal patient

As an informal patient you have agreed to come into hospital voluntarily. You have the same rights as any person staying in any other type of hospital.

On the ward or unit you will sometimes be referred to as an informal or voluntary patient. This is because you are not detained under the Mental Health Act 1983 (MHA). Because of your informal status you have certain rights during your stay on the ward. You have some responsibilities as well. 

Your rights

As an informal patient you are not subject to any restrictions on leaving the ward or unit. Please cooperate with ward staff should you wish to leave the ward area or discharge yourself. Whilst you are an inpatient we continue to have a duty of care towards you.

As an informal patient you are not subject to statutory powers and cannot be held on the ward or unit against your will. However, there are some important related issues:

  • Where ward or unit exit doors are locked there may be a number of reasons for this. It is not to prevent you from leaving. You have a right to request them to be opened to allow you to leave. Please discuss this with your named nurse or doctor.
  • Clinical staff have a responsibility for ensuring that the whereabouts of all current inpatients are known at all times, (for example, to comply with fire and health and safety regulations).
  • If you decide to leave, this may be:
    • on a short term basis (a few hours during the day), or
    • long term (including a stay away from the ward overnight), or
    • permanently (discharge).

Decisions about leaving

You have the right to leave the hospital, unless there is a good reason to keep you here under the Mental Health Act (MHA). If clinical staff consider your decision to leave may be unwise they will explain their concerns so you may take these into account.

Under Section 5 of the MHA, both doctors and nurses have the power to prevent you from leaving the ward if there are serious concerns and you insist on leaving. Concerns include the possible harm that may occur to you or others and your overall welfare. This is to allow time for the MHA assessment to be completed.

If these powers are implemented there are systems under the MHA which are used to protect you and your rights. You will be informed of these if they will be applied to you.

You will be asked to sign a self discharge form if you are discharging yourself. 

On discharge, you may be offered follow up care in the community. Your discharge plan will be given to you and a copy sent to your GP. Medication for you to take home may need to be organised, as well as other practical considerations such as food or money.

Mental Capacity Act 2005

Some people who are not detained under the Mental Health Act but have difficulty making decisions may be subject to the provisions of the Mental Capacity Act 2005 (MCA).

Having mental capacity means being able to make your own decision about something. If staff think you are unable to make a decision, and the result of the decision might cause you harm, then the MCA allows them to take steps in your best interest to prevent this.

If the MCA applies then in certain circumstances staff may be able to prevent you from doing some of the things described above. Staff are trained in issues of mental capacity and have information they will be happy to share with you and your family


Patient and visitor information on how to prevent falls in hospital

Why people fall in hospital?

There are many factors why people fall in hospital including:

  • Medications
  • Low blood pressure
  • Problems with strength and balance
  • Reduced vision
  • Foot problems
  • Unsuitable footwear
  • Recovering from illness or surgery

Can falls be prevented?

It is not possible to prevent all falls as falls can happen at any time, however ward staff will do their best to reduce the risk of falls. The Multidisciplinary team, including doctors, nurses, physiotherapist and Occupational therapists will discuss and assess your risks with you soon after admission and develop a falls prevention action plan with you to reduce your risk of a fall.

How to prevent falls?

The following may help to reduce the risk of a fall:

  • Always use your call bell or assigned doorbell and wait for assistance if you need help to stand and walk. Staff are here to help you.
  • Always use your walking aid if you need one when moving about. Try to follow the advice given to you by therapists and nurses about how to move, stand and walk safely. Never lean on hospital furniture as it often has wheels.
  • Ensure that you wear slippers/shoes that fit well and cannot fall off. We can provide non-slip socks if footwear is not suitable, so please ask for these.
  • Moving about: it is important to sit out of bed, to get up and dressed to promote your recovery. Take care when getting up from the chair or bed and avoid moving too quickly. It is helpful to sit on the edge of the bed for a few moments before standing. Get up slowly and make sure you feel steady before walking.
  • Vision and hearing: always wear your glasses or hearing aids if you need them to avoid falls. Ensure that your glasses are clean. Let the staff know if you are having trouble seeing or hearing.
  • Dizziness: if you feel dizzy at any time then stop, sit down, and let the ward staff know.
  • Drink fluids regularly and eat well.
  • Ensure that you keep your personal items in reach to avoid you having to stretch and over-reach.
  • Take care in the bathroom and toilet. Ask for help if you need it.

What can I do to prevent falls in hospital?

If you have had previous falls at home or in hospital, please tell the nursing staff or doctor looking after you. Please also let them know if you are fearful about falling.

Please inform staff immediately if you see any hazards that might cause someone to slip, trip or fall.

Useful sources of information

Further information on staying steady and reducing the risk of falling can be found at Age UK either by accessing their website or contacting their Age UK advice line on free call 0800 678 1602. Lines are open 8am-7pm 365 days per year. Find out more on the Age UK website

Further information regarding Falls Prevention in Hospitals can be obtained from NICE, Royal College of Physicians who support the National Audit of Inpatient falls and the following websites:

NICE guidance

Royal College of Physicians website

Royal College of Physicians annual report

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