Simmons House has a number of basic rules which all young people must respect. Your key workers will discuss these with you.
Below is a summary of the rules. To read the full Rules Protocol document please click here.
The aim of the rules are to ensure that Simmons House remains a safe place for both young people and staff, a place where all young people have the right and freedom to work on their problems and difficulties in as safe and secure an environment as possible.
To keep Simmons House a safe place we take rules about dangerous behaviour very seriously.
We work with young people to help them develop self-control and to learn to express themselves in appropriate ways. We work hard with young people to find positive solutions to challenging behaviour. This approach includes appropriate use of reward programmes and a range of other behavioural supports.
We expect young people to work towards developing self-control and to learn to express themselves in appropriate ways.
We work hard with the young people to find positive solutions to challenging and difficult behaviour.
This approach includes appropriate use of reward programmes and positive reinforcement.
To keep the Unit a safe place we have to take rules about dangerous behaviour very seriously. Disregarding rules will always produce a response from staff.
Young people who break the rules are expected to take up the offer made by staff to talk about their behaviour. Persistent disregard of rules will lead to sanctions being imposed.
If a young person is undertaking an activity or action that is abusive in any way, they will initially be asked to stop and supported to stop. However, if they persist they will be given a warning. Examples where warnings are given include: verbal abuse, bullying, offensive language and use of mobiles during programme time. If three warnings are given in one week, a serious warning will be given.
Should reflective time away from the unit be needed, the young person concerned can only return to the unit after meeting with a member of staff.
The period of leave is for the young person to think about why he/she has been sent out on reflective time and to consider if they still want to use what Simmons House can offer.
If a young person needs reflective time away from Simmons House, the staff think very carefully about the reasons why and discuss these with the adolescent and his/her family/carers. We always assess the level of risk before we send someone on reflective time and in addition, as an added safeguard, one of the consultant psychiatrists has to give his/her agreement to a young person being sent on reflective time away.
Young people having reflective time outside of the unit are still Simmons House patients and so the unit can be contacted at any time by the young person, or their parents/carers, if there are any concerns about safety or risk so that an appopriate management plan can be made.
Serious disregard of rules, unsafe behaviour or disregard of staff authority will lead to a serious warning. This lasts for seven days. If any further incidents occur in this time, the young person will be met with and a reflective space created which will result with either a) reflective time away from the unit: or b) reflective time on the unit.
Staff will offer help to any young person who is on a serious warning so that they can find ways of understanding and changing their behaviour.
It might seem strange to referrers, young people and their families/carers that a young person might need a reflective time away from the unit at a time when they are most angry or upset. The reason Simmons House does this is complicated.
Almost all the young people at Simmons House attend because a part of them wants to. They might not always say this but most adolescents choose to be at the Unit.
We work almost entirely with the consent and agreement of young people and their families/carers and this applies -as far as possible- even when a young person has to be at Simmons House under a section of The Mental Health Act.
For many young people with emotional problems, the best way for them to address their difficulties is with their agreement. To do this safely we have to have the rules and sanctions. If we didn't Simmons House would be unsafe and unhelpful.
If it becomes clinically necessary to use The Mental Health Act and/or The Children Act; other powers such as The Mental Capacity Act or case-law, we will always do so to try to prevent harm coming to a young person or others.
Risk assessment and management, and safegaurding children are core tasks for Simmons Hosue.