A REHABILITATION ward at a North-East hospital has been named as one of only seven in the country to achieve industry-recognised standards of excellence.

The Willow ward, at West Park Hospital, in Darlington, received the accolade when assessed against the Royal College of Psychiatrists’ accreditation for in-patient mental health services standards (Aims).

The multi-disciplinary team of NHS staff which includes doctors, mental health nurses, health care assistants, a psychologist and occupational therapist, along with service users and carers, were all involved in the assessment.

Together, they achieved level one against Aims criteria, which cover areas such as ward environment, therapies and activities on the unit, the admission process and patient safety.

This national recognition acknowledges the commitment of the staff team to improve the service they provide to our service users and their carers.

Willow Ward, which is part of Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys NHS Foundation Trust, provides care for both male and female working age adults living in the Darlington and Durham area who need inpatient care due to the challenging behaviour of their mental health condition.

Locality manager Simon Beaumont said: “Receiving excellence in the Aims accreditation has given all the staff and service users on Willow ward cause for being proud of their achievements.

“This national recognition demonstrates the work that the staff team does with their service users who present with some of the most complex and challenging behaviours. It also recognises both the good practice and high quality of care the staff provide.

Accreditation is valid for up to four years and is subject to an annual self-review.