pelahm_lodge_thumb.jpgWe understand that leaving the comfort of your own home to come to Harrison House can be frightening and stressful – especially if it is your first time.

We’re all here to help you and try to make your stay with us as stress-free and helpful as possible.

We have two 11-bed lodges – Pelham Lodge and Meridian Lodge – for people going through an acute phase of mental health illness.

There may be things you need to sort out or people that you want to contact. We’ll ask you about this upon your admission but this page will also give you some useful information ahead of coming in.


Bringing personal possessions with you will make your stay with us more comfortable. For example, you can bring:

  • Several changes of underwear
  • A few changes of clothes and shoes
  • Night wear, a dressing gown and slippers
  • Toiletries
  • Loose change to use the telephone, buy a newspaper or other activities
  • Magazines or puzzle books
  • Photos of family or friends
  • Contact numbers of family and friends
  • Mobile phone and charger
  • Washing detergent

Don’t worry if you forget any essentials. We have a small supply of emergency items, so just ask a member of staff.

You do have a safe in your room for securing items. However, we advise that you leave any valuable items at home, as we can’t take responsibility for these unless you deposit the items with us for safe keeping in our property book.

If you bring any electrical equipment they must be tested by our concierge staff. Staff in the lodge can arrange this for you.

You won’t need to bring large amounts of money. We recommend that you don’t bring any more than £20 as we don’t have the facilities to safeguard larger amounts. Any money kept on the lodge should be placed in your individual locker or passed to a member of staff for safekeeping in the lodge safe. You can access your money at any time by asking a member of staff.

There are a number of items which are not permitted on to the lodges for safety reasons. These include:

  • Alcohol
  • Illegal drugs
  • Firearms
  • Blades

We ask you not to bring vehicles onto our premises unless you have agreed this with your named worker and consultant psychiatrist. As both mental health difficulties and medication can affect your concentration, please ask your consultant for advice before you drive a vehicle.

On arrival, you’ll be met by a member of the nursing team and a doctor who will gather some information from you. You may have a relative or a friend with you to support you. You will then be shown around the lodge and introduced to other service users and staff.

If you have any concerns initially or throughout your stay, members of staff are available to assist and support you.

Any medication, including those prescribed by your doctor which you bring with you must be handed to a member of staff on admission.

If you have any special requirements when it comes to your stay, please tell a member of staff as soon as possible following admission to enable provisions to be made. We want to make sure you’re comfortable during your admission.

These may include dietary needs, mobility needs, interpretation or communication needs, such as a specific language, Makaton, BSL, or any other communication aids.

You’ll be allocated a named worker who will work with you to complete a full assessment of your needs. Your named worker will be your first point of contact in the lodge and will oversee your care and treatment while you’re there.

All our staff wear name badges and can be identified on a photo board in the entrance to the lodge. While you are with us your care will be provided by a team including nurses, doctors, social workers, nursing assistants, psychologists and other professionals.

During your first 48 hours on the lodge, the staff will be assessing your mental health needs. This will include them talking with you regularly and observing you in group activities. So that we can gain a full assessment, we ask that you remain on the unit for the first 48 hours.

Following this assessment we’ll discuss our findings with you and we’ll jointly develop a plan of care for your individual needs. Our staff will endeavour to keep you informed of any decisions made about your care and treatment.

You will be seen by a consultant psychiatrist shortly after your admission (usually within 24 hours), but if you’re admitted over a weekend you’ll be seen on the following Monday.

Your consultant will then see you at least weekly or as necessary; other professionals involved in your care may be invited to these meeting and you’ll have the opportunity to invite a family member, carer or friend if you would like.

This meeting is an opportunity for you to talk to the team about your care and treatment. We know that this meeting can sometimes be intimidating, so you can request to see your consultant on their own. Your named worker will discuss this with you. They will also talk with you before the meeting to help you prepare for this.

At all times your needs and views will be central to the process of planning your care and treatment.

Your individual treatment and care plan will be based on the outcome of your assessment.

All of our rooms are single with en-suite bathrooms. There’s a lockable safe, wardrobe and desk in all rooms. The lodges have separate male and female areas and we ask everyone to respect each other’s privacy in regard to this.

Both lodges are no smoking buildings. There is a designated smoking area that can be used. If you would like help to stop smoking, please speak to a member of staff.

All the lodge lounges have a television and a music system for you to enjoy. We ask that the televisions remain off during therapeutic group time. If you do use the televisions or music systems please be respectful of others and keep volumes at a reasonable level. To aid your sleep the televisions will normally be turned off at midnight.

On site in Harrison House, there is a cafe that you may want to use. This is a very pleasant area where you could meet any visitors.

We have tennis and netball facilities and a five-a-side football pitch, too. If you would like to use any of the facilities in Harrison House then please ask a member of our staff.

We uphold the belief that all service users and employees have the fundamental right to be treated with both dignity and respect.

Both service users and employees have a responsibility to:

  • Treat all with dignity and respect and encourage others to do the same.
  • Ensure that behaviour is appropriate and does not constitute verbal or physical abuse.
  • Not engage in any form of harassment, bullying, or malicious intent, discrimination or victimisation.
  • Challenge inappropriate behaviour and stop your own inappropriate behaviour, if someone raises it with you.

In the lodges, everyone is expected to adhere to their individual treatment plan, as this is the backbone to your recovery.

While you’re here with us, we’ll encourage and support you in maintaining your independence. We’ll expect you to take care of your personal hygiene, dressing, etc, and to follow your agreed activity schedule.

You’ll be expected to be responsible for tidying your bedroom. In order to help the cleaning staff, we ask that you make your bed and clear the floor so that they can sweep and mop the floor daily.

We prefer that your laundry was sent home but if this is not possible, you may use the facilities on the lodges. A washing machine, tumble dryer and ironing board are available in the laundry room. You will be expected to take care of your own laundry and provide your own washing detergent.

If you’re experiencing any problems in any of these areas, staff are there to prompt, encourage and assist you. Please ask if you need help – we’re there to help you.

If you’ve been admitted to the lodge informally, or voluntarily, you’re in hospital at the advice of your doctor or on the advice of the people who look after you in the community.

If this is the case, you have the same rights as any patient in an ordinary hospital. You are not being held against your will. Your right not to be held against your will without due process and reason is protected under the Human Rights Act (1998) and by what is known as common law.

At some times the lodge may be locked. This is because a number of patients on the lodge are subject to the Mental Health Act.

Some service users are in hospital under a section of the Mental Health Act, meaning that they do not have the same rights as you to leave hospital, or to refuse treatment recommended by their doctor.

We know that being in an unfamiliar place can be frightening so we’re keen to tell you how we can make you feel safe during your stay.

Please tell our staff if you feel worried about your safety while you are here. We’re committed to ensuring a safe environment for both the people who use this service and our staff.

Please help us to maintain a safe environment by not consuming alcohol or drugs while you are with us. If you would like any help or advice regarding alcohol or drug use, please talk to your named worker as there is a specialist service in the area.

There are a number of security measures in place, including CCTV cameras to monitor external doors, an entry phone system for the main door and window restrictors to stop the windows being opened wide.

All members of staff have been fully trained in fire procedure for everyone’s safety. Please follow the instructions given by the nurse in charge. If you discover a fire, please alert a member of staff immediately.

All visitors should report to reception so we can keep an accurate record of who is in the building in the event of fire or evacuation.

We care for people with a range of problems and some of these people can be quite unwell and as a result may say or do things that may seem strange. If you feel frightened or threatened, please discuss this with a member of staff immediately.

All bedrooms have swipe card access. On admission you will be provided a swipe card for your room and this will be collected on discharge. Staff also have swipe access to all rooms; this system can be overridden in exceptional circumstances.

All bedroom doors have privacy glass which cannot be seen through. Staff can override this privacy glass, making it transparent. This will be done during the evenings at the time of fireboard checks and also in exceptional circumstances.

On the lodges there is access to individual alarms, with a call and panic function for response. If you would like access to an alarm, please ask a member of the nursing team who will show you how to use it. Individual alarms are also available for visitors to use should they feel this is appropriate.

An alarm system is also in the visitors room on the lodge, indicated by a push button. Please ask a member of staff if you would like further information regarding this.

We believe that good mental health is helped by having a structure and purpose to your day. We also believe that you should be actively involved in your care and treatment.

To help you take more control over your recovery we have a range of psychological, therapeutic and leisure activities that you will be expected to take part in during your stay. A member of our team will discuss these activities with you shortly after your admission and they will help develop a programme to suit your individual needs.

These activities will allow you to:

• Maintain and develop everyday skills such as cooking and shopping

• Increase your activity levels and provide structure to your day

• Socialise and feel more comfortable around others

• Increase your self-esteem, self-confidence and motivation

• Explore work/volunteer opportunities

• Express yourself creatively

We believe that these activities will help in your recovery, so even though you may feel nervous about joining in we do encourage you to do so. In addition to group activities you will be given time daily to speak with a member of staff on a one-to-one basis.

Staff also hold weekly wellbeing clinics on the lodges. We’ll check your blood pressure, pulse, weight and height.

As part of our activity programme we offer educational sessions on how you can take better care of your physical health and how this can aid your mental health recovery. If you have any questions about your physical health, please approach any of our staff.

As well as this, the weekly communication meeting is an opportunity for you to meet with other service users and for you to make suggestions for improvements to our lodges. We really do value your opinion and are constantly striving to make this a better service for all.

Each morning, there’s also a coffee meeting where the lodge activities are discussed.

A communication meeting is held every week. It’s a forum for you to discuss any concerns or share positive feedback about the delivery of service at Harrison House.

We ask you to respect other service users and your own privacy and only to use mobile phone either in your bedroom or outside.

We have a pay phone on the unit for your convenience and you are welcome to use this at any time. In exceptional circumstances, you may be allowed to use the lodge telephone. This will be at the discretion of the nursing team, so please ask a member of staff if you need to do so.

The cafe, located opposite the main reception in Harrison House, has two desktop computers that are free to use for service users and visitors. There’s also free Wi-Fi in the cafe area which can be accessed by speaking to the receptionist.

You can use social media during your time with us, but we ask that you don’t upload anything relating to your care, other service users, Harrison House, or NAViGO.

This includes photographs and videos. The use of cameras and videos are prohibited for service users unless a member of staff has given permission. Service user privacy and confidentiality must be protected.

Visiting times are between 4pm and 8pm, Monday to Friday and 10am and 9pm at the weekend.

Visiting times are set to ensure that you are able to participate in therapies and activities on the lodge. In special circumstances, other visiting times can be negotiated with our staff.

All visitors must report first to reception and then to the nurse in charge of the unit when they arrive and when they leave. If you ask, staff will arrange a room for you to be able to talk privately with your relatives and friends.

Please note: children are not allowed on the lodges, but are welcome in the Harrison House cafe area. In special circumstances, alternative arrangements can be made on request. Please speak to a member of staff if you wish to make an alternative arrangement.

A room can be arranged, should you require it, for any private or personal consultations, such as solicitors and advocates. Please ask a member of staff if you require this – preferably ahead of time if possible.

Meals are served in the dining kitchen on the lodges, with breakfast at 8am, lunch at 12.30pm and an evening meal at 5.30pm.

From Monday to Friday, lunch time meals are taken in the café in Harrison House.

We feel it’s very important for your recovery that you maintain the skills you already have. With this in mind, four evening meals a week are cooked on the lodge and you will be expected to help plan, shop, prepare and cook these meals as part of a therapeutic community.

Facilities to make hot and cold drinks are available in the kitchen at all times. Please help yourself to these.

There will also be items available so you can make a snack. We ask that you clear away after yourself whenever you use the kitchen and leave it as you found it. We also ask that you only eat meals and snacks in the dining area of the kitchen.

There are a number of ways you can get more information on your medication. You can:

If a member of staff is unable to help you with your medication questions, you can ask to meet the NAViGO pharmacist, who is a specialist on the medicines we use.

The pharmacist visits the lodges regularly to meet with any individuals that have concerns.

The Choice and Medication portal website contains information on all the medications used by us. It gives you guidance on how your medication helps you, what the possible side effects are, what alternatives are available to you, what the standard dosage is and many other frequently asked questions.

It also has information on conditions and leaflets you can download and print.

We have a multi-faith spiritual room located in Meridian Lodge that you may access at all times.

If you would like access to the multi-faith room, or would like to see a religious leader from your chosen denomination or faith, then please ask your named worker and we’ll try to facilitate this.

There may be customs, dietary or spiritual needs that are important to you and your family. Staff in the lodges will discuss your particular needs with you. Please let them know what you need and we’ll do our best to make sure that your preferences are met.

Our daily lodge timetable is flexible to accommodate religious worship.

We’ll regularly talk with you about your discharge as we want it to be planned alongside your views.

We know that leaving the unit can be as scary as coming in so, as part of our activity programme, we’ll hold discharge clinics where you can discuss any concerns you have.

Your named worker will work closely with you to ensure that your discharge from Harrison House is successful and that your concerns are addressed.

If you are discharged back to the care of your GP, your named worker or another member of the team will visit you within seven days of you leaving the lodge to ensure that you have settled back into life at home. Your care will then be passed over to your GP.

There is a national system for delivering mental health services called the Care Programme Approach (CPA). If this applies to you, you will have a CPA Care Coordinator (CCO). If you are discharged back to the care of your CCO, or are allocated a CCO as part of your discharge plan, they will visit you at home.

You will be given a time and date for their visit before you leave the Lodge.

Your CCO can help you with:

  • Housing
  • Employment/training
  • Leisure time
  • Friendships and relationships
  • Treatment, including medication
  • Money matters, including benefits
  • People to help you

You may be discharged from Harrison House to the care of Home Treatment. It is proven that some people recover much quicker if they’re supported in their own homes.

This service is for individuals that, without the support of Home Treatment, would need to be in hospital. This team will support you for up to six weeks at home.

If you have any questions regarding your discharge, please ask a member of our team.