Part of the UK’s massive Cygnet Health Care conglomerate, Cygnet Hospital offers many clinical programs within their Godden Green facility including Saltwood Ward, a men’s low-security, residential treatment program. Set in a rural area of the county of Kent, this program opened in 2005. Though the facility’s primary focus is psychiatric recovery, dual diagnosis clients are also welcome.
Accommodations and Food
Cygnet’s large, estate-like hospital provides treatment and housing under one roof. All rooms are private and come furnished with double beds and private bathrooms. There is a lounge with a pool table to use during down time, as well as access to TV and the Internet. Other common areas include an activities room, a quiet room, a dining room, an interview room and a meeting room. An on-site school employs educators, who assist residents needing refresher courses and vocational training.
The food for Saltwood Ward is prepared by Cygnet’s culinary team in the main kitchen. Menu items include things like vegetable soup, steak pie and chocolate dessert—basically anything found in a restaurant. Sugar and caffeine are allowed but regulated, largely depending on the client; because Saltwood Ward’s treatment is aimed at mental illness, sweets and caffeine can sometimes conflict with medication.
Treatment and Staff
Individualized treatment plans are developed for each client and residents can stay for any length of time, usually somewhere between six and 18 months.
Depending on the client’s needs, Saltwood Ward uses an adaptation of the 12-step program with mental illness as the primary issue. Group and individual therapy are key components of the recovery process. The minimum number of one-on-one counseling sessions is one every two days, but some clients require individual therapy on a daily basis. CBT is the general model of care with DBT administered if necessary; EMDR is also available, as needed. When relevant to a client’s treatment, transportation to off-site AA/NA meetings can be arranged. On-site meetings are available as well, but the model is called “My Shared Pathway,” which was developed by a former resident.
A family therapist is available at the request of the client or their family. In these sessions, both the client and their family are present as well as a social worker or another treatment team member.
Saltwood Ward residents start their days at 8:30 am and are kept busy until 7 pm. A community meeting and process groups are first on the schedule. Lunch is served at 12:30 pm, followed by group and individual sessions until dinner at 5:30 pm. In the evening, residents take night classes or have free time. Occasionally, the psychologist leads a 7 pm group. Lights out is at 11 pm. Clients can leave the grounds for short periods during the day (often accompanied by a staff member), and visitors are allowed at Saltwood Ward between 6 pm and 8 pm daily.
All told, there are 88 employees at Saltwood who care for the 40 residents—a two-to-one ratio. Additionally, there are four British Association of Chartered Practitioners staffers who provide relief coverage for both staff and clients, acting as peer counselors. Between all of these professionals as well as night nurses, this facility provides 24/7 care. As a dual diagnosis program, Saltwood Ward has an on-site psychologist, psychiatrist, occupational therapist, drug and alcohol counselor and social worker.
Saltwood Ward uses what’s called “Walk-and-Talk” therapy, where residents and a counselor leave the grounds and spend time together in the hope that the less formal setting will aid the therapeutic process.
In an on-site gym, fitness instructors lead exercise sessions and a dietitian educates clients on nutrition. The aerobics instructor leads residents in a myriad of activities such as street dance, Tai Chi, traditional cardio and yoga. Extra-curricular outings include trips to see movies, swim or shop in the local town, all as part of reintegration into the community.
Saltwood Ward provides an extensive program for men with serious psychiatric issues underlying their addiction, and the price is right as well. Rather than a traditional payment system, the National Health Service refers residents to the Saltwood Ward, so it’s free of charge for those who are approved.
Kent, TN15 0JR
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