Alnwood – Patient information leaflet

Information which will help you during your stay on Alnwood, a medium secure unit for young people aged from 12 to 18.

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Patient information leaflet (6kB)

  • Welcome

    A group of young people in the unit have put together this information which they hope will give you a picture of what to expect.

    When you arrive at Alnwood you will be given a Welcome Guide which tells you what it is like to be in hospital and provides information about understanding your rights.

    The nursing team will discuss the guide with you and answer any questions that you have.

  • Where is Newcastle?

    Newcastle is a friendly city, with over 2,000 years of history.

    It’s situated in the North East of England on the banks of the river Tyne and is surrounded by beautiful country side and beaches.

    Gosforth has its own shopping centre, restaurants, library and swimming pool.

    There is a large supermarket and we often go there on leave to buy personal items and ingredients to cook with.

  • What is Alnwood?

    The place where you will be staying is called Alnwood. It is in the grounds of St Nicholas Hospital, Jubilee Road, Gosforth, Newcastle upon Tyne.

    In the hospital grounds there is a:
    Bank – where all your money matters are dealt with.
    Hospital shop – that sells soft drinks, sandwiches, toiletries, ards and gifts.
    Restaurant – ‘Café Nicholas’where you can have your lunch. It also sells a small range of goods such as sweets,fruit and soft drinks.
    Playing field – large playing field used for sporting activities.
    Peace Garden – next to the Chapel, which is open to people of all faiths.
    Alnwood is a medium secure unit at St Nicholas Hospital, Newcastle upon Tyne.

    It has two separate wards – Ashby and Lennox – for young people, aged 12 to 18. All wards can take males and females.

  • Ashby

    Ashby is a seven bed unit providing assessment and treatment for young people aged 12-18 with complex mental health disorders and the need for a high level of supervision in a medium secure environment.

  • Lennox

    Lennox is a seven bed unit providing assessment and treatment for young people aged 12-18 with complex mild to moderate learning disability and the need for a high level of supervision in a medium secure environment.

  • What does being secure mean?

    Young people cannot move around freely as the doors are locked and only staff members have keys. However, most young people will quickly have a risk management plan that allows them to have a key to their bedroom door and you can be escorted around the clinic.

  • What will I do each day?

    On weekdays you will take part in the structured day between 9.15am and 3.20pm.

    The structured day is your programme of activities and includes your treatment programme. It is provided by teachers, doctors, nurses, psychologists and therapists.

    You might not like going to education but the day is boring if you don’t.

  • How long will I stay?

    This depends on your circumstances. It could be anything from a few weeks to a much longer period of time.

    The average length of stay is nine months and all young people will be expected to leave soon after their 18th birthday, unless there are exceptional circumstances for them to stay longer.

    We will always involve you in the plans for your discharge from the unit.

    Your care team have Care Co-ordination meetings every three months to talk about your progress and plan treatment.

  • What if I have a comment, suggestion, compliment or complaint about the service?

    If you want to make a comment, suggestion, compliment or complaint you can:
    • talk to the people directly involved in your care
    • ask a member of staff for a feedback form, or complete a form on the Trust website (click on the ‘Contact Us’ tab)
    • telephone the Complaints Department 0191 245 6672
    • email [email protected] Please note that information sent to the Trust via email is sent at your own risk
    • We are always looking at ways to improve services. Your feedback allows us to monitor the quality of our services and act upon issues that you bring to our attention.
    You can provide feedback in the following ways:
    – the quickest way for you to do this is to complete our short online survey at
    – complete a Points of You survey, available on wards, reception areas or from staff.

  • Useful numbers

    Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS)
    Tel: 0800 032 0202 (freephone)
    Advise and support patients, their families and carers, provide information on NHS services, listen to concerns, suggestions and queries regarding your care.

    Tel:0800 1111 (freephone)
    You can talk to Childline about anything, if you are feeling scared or out of control or just want someone to talk to.

    The Mix
    Tel: 0808 080 4994(freephone from any landline or mobile)
    Support service for young people.

    Tel: 116 123 (freephone, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year)
    Confidential emotional support for people who are feeling distressed, worried, confused or just need someone to talk to.

    Coram Voice
    Tel: 0808 800 5792
    Coram Voice is an independent national charity which provides a confidential advocacy service.

  • Contact details

    St Nicholas Hospital
    Jubilee Road, Gosforth
    Newcastle upon Tyne,
    NE3 3XT
    Tel: 0191 246 6900

  • Information about content, other formats and version control

    Further information about the content, reference sources or production of this leaflet can be obtained from the Patient Information Centre. If you would like to tell us what you think about this leaflet please get in touch.

    This information can be made available in a range of formats on request (eg Braille, audio, larger print, easy read, BSL or other languages). Please contact the Patient Information Centre
    Tel: 0191 246 7288

    Published by the Patient Information Centre
    2023 Copyright, Cumbria. Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust
    Ref, PIC/02/0223 February 2023 V6 Tel: 0191 246 7288
    Review date 2026