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Chesterholme Independent Hospital for Adults with Learning Disabilities

Chesterholme is an independent hospital situated in Hexham, Northumberland. It provides assessment and intervention for up to 16 men and women who are living with a learning disability and complex needs. People who have additional mental and physical health needs and behaviours that may be perceived to be challenging can also be supported at Chesterholme. The service can also support people who have been detained under the Mental Health Act.

Chesterholme exterior 1

Chesterholme mapWithin Chesterholme there are two follow on services which offer a choice of a three and a four bed self contained apartments.

This service provides a care pathway from the main hospital to a service which focuses and promotes greater independence in preparation for moving on to either a residential or a supported living setting.

The hospital is purpose built and each person has their own bedroom with en-suite facilities. Accommodation is generous and the people we serve can choose gender specific lounges and a choice of two dining areas. There are three private gardens and each of them offers different areas for people to relax or take part in other outdoor interests.

When people come to Chesterholme it may be for the following reasons; they could be moving from a home environment, supported living or from a residential service due to an illness or a crisis in their life. They may come following a placement from an NHS or other specialist learning disability service. Or it may be that they are moving on following a stay at a secure unit.

At Chesterholme we believe that everyone should be treated as a full and valued member of their community with the same rights as everyone else. Therefore, our focus is on rehabilitation and the improvement of the health and well-being of service users; developing trusting relationships and attaining positive outcomes. Service users are encouraged to identify and achieve their own personal aspirations using person centred thinking and approaches. We pride ourselves at Chesterholme on working hard with the people, their families and those closest to them to find out what is important to them and what their hopes and dreams for the future are. This is part of our commitment to use every opportunity we can to hear and act on the views of those we support and those who know and care about them best.

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For further information on Chesterholme please click on the TABS below:

About Chesterholme

Chesterholme - About Chesterholme

Danshell Logo small3When people come to Chesterholme we ask them how they would like to personalise their room and we support them to do that. There are a number of rooms at Chesterholme which are dedicated to activities and supporting life skills in readiness for people moving on. There is a life skills kitchen which is easily accessible for people wanting to make their own drinks, prepare or cook food for themselves or their visitors should they wish to. There is a large art room where people can enjoy a range of creative table top crafts, and a games room which boasts a pool table for the more competitive. We have a relaxation room and a pamper room which are both available to all the people we serve should they wish to use them.

Chesterholme is a 15 minute walk to the historic market town of Hexham. We have two vehicles which can be used to facilitate activities and access the local community. The town hosts all the usual amenities and leisure services but if people wish to travel further afield then there are good train links to Newcastle and Carlisle. Many of the people at Chesterholme are supported in education at local colleges and some have paid or voluntary work placements.

Our goal is to enable people to structure their time; build relationships and establish a balance between therapy, selfcare, work and leisure as appropriate to their individual needs. Community based activities give people the opportunity to meet others, experience new activities, participate in leisure activities and practice social skills. Activities depend on individual preferences and can include a variety of community based and educational choices.

Family Matters

Chesterholme - Family Matters

Family mealAt Chesterholme we know that the people we serve are part of a wider circle of family, friends and networks that are important to them and therefore, important to us. We work in partnership with them to ensure we provide the right service for their relative but also to support them in their own right as a family carer. Family carers and important others are encouraged to develop good contact arrangements with staff at Chesterholme. We look forward to receiving visitors as well as updates from families and friends by email, phone or Skype.

The Danshell Family Carer Forum is run independently by a group of family carers with representatives from every region of the UK. The forum facilitates family carers to ask questions, discuss worries and support one another. It produces a quarterly newsletter which helps families share experiences as well as keeping people up to date with benefit information, legislative changes and relevant Danshell developments.

Personal Activities Plan

Chesterholme - Personal Activities Plan

Chesterholme has a dedicated activities co-ordinator who supports service users to have individual person-centred plans. The wants, needs and interests of each individual are established through a variety of sources of information and communication with key people.

Service users are supported to participate in social activities that may be of interest to them through the well-established network of community based groups in Hexham and the wider Northumberland areas. 

Clare - Activity Co-ordinator - Chesterholme

I am the Activity Co-ordinator at Chesterholme and I support people to identify and plan their individual activities. I make sure that the activities people choose are enjoyable, meaningful, appropriate, person centred, developmental and linked to the individual’s care pathway. I work together with people and their families to find out what their interests are and if there is something new they would like to try.

Activities are discussed during the weekly service user forum when we can get together as a group and share ideas and suggestions. I ensure that everyone at Chesterholme has a meaningful activity plan of 30 hours per week. Everyone has their own personalised activity planner which they can keep in their room and these planners are devised in way that they are meaningful to that person. We do this through using photographs, symbols or words in larger font sizes.

Positive Behaviour Support

Chesterholme - Positive Behaviour Support

Many of the people we serve at Chesterholme have behaviours that challenge services. We believe that we have to make a long term commitment to providing the right support for each individual to improve their quality of life. This does not mean that people need to remain in the same place but rather we continue to support them in a person centred way along their care pathway and ensure that what we learn about the person and the best way to work with them, is respected, applied and built on.

Importantly, our way of working supports people to be included in their own communities and promotes choice and control, the development of skills and alternative strategies for coping with challenging situations.

To enable this to happen we implement a range of interventions including:

  • Functional Assessment of Behaviour.
  • Personal Positive Behavioural Support Plans.
  • Individualised activity and skill acquisition programmes.
  • Education and employment opportunities.
  • Specialist assessments of need and risk e.g. HCR-20.
A Safe Place to be

Chesterholme - A Safe Place To Be

Safe PlaceOur organisation is committed to delivering care and support in a safe, dignified and respectful manner. We have an extensive governance system called “Safe, Sound and Supportive” that monitors individual and organisation performance against a range of safety and outcome indicators.

Using electronic reporting systems we are able to monitor and respond swiftly to incidents or untoward events. Our systems and structures provide what we believe to be a ‘gold standard’ approach to securing service user safety.

Across all services there is an independent and confidential whistle blowing policy and service for all staff to use if they are worried about service user safety, care and wellbeing.

Service User Involvement

Chesterholme - Service User Involvement

Thinking planWe encourage people to say how they feel about all aspects of the service they receive and we give them the tools and support to do this. This includes their views about how we deliver support to them, their care plans and the activities they want to do. At Chesterholme we support people who would like to be a part of the service user forum. Here, they can tell us what matters to them, their points and actions are noted, created in accessible form and fed back to the manager to act on and feedback to the group. We also support people to attend the regular regional service user forums, which are a great way for individuals to meet new people from other services and exchange ideas.

A number of service users have been trained as Experts by Experience or Quality Checkers. Their role is part of the Quality Development Review Team who inspect services to make sure they are good. We also train and support people to be a valued member of the recruitment and interview process in many of our services. We have devised policies, communication and measuring tools to enable this to happen across all of our services.

Feedback from the people we serve is vital to making sure we are doing things well. We have post CPA and service user exit questionnaires which are used to support people to do that. Adapted questionnaires are used for people who need support in communication and that way we can be sure all voices are heard and acted upon. All feedback is collated and fed back to the board.

The advocacy group working at Chesterholme is called VoiceAbility and everyone we serve has access to an independent advocate.

Danshell is committed to developing services that reflect what the people who use our services and their families tell us is important. This includes ensuring they and their family and carers are fully involved in processes such as the Care Programme Approach (CPA) and in evaluating the service we provide.

Service Staffing

Chesterholme - Service Staffing

A Support health gpThe people who are supported at Chesterholme have full access to specialist clinical and therapeutic support. This ensures we are able deliver creative, flexible and effective responses to meet each individuals needs. Our multi-professional team includes nurses, psychiatrists, psychologists, occupational therapists and speech and language therapists.

We are committed to the learning and development of our staff and have created a strategy to reflect the importance of increasing people’s confidence, knowledge and expertise.


Chesterholme Hospital

Anick Road
NE46 4JR
phone-easyread 01434 600 980

Mick Batey

Manager: Mick Batey
mail 25x25 


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