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About the rules

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.

About The Rules

Simmon House Rules

Simmon House Rules
  • No violence to self or others. Bullying in any form is not accepted.

  • Abuse of a sexual, racial, personal or other hurtful nature is unacceptable by any means (verbal, written, phone, text-message, Facebook etc).

  • No intoxicating substances (drug, alcohol, volatile substances etc.) can be consumed or brought into Simmons House.

  • No young person can return to Simmons House in an intoxicated state.

  • No knives, razor blades or any other sharp or dangerous implements can be brought to or kept in Simmons House.

  • Sexual activity is not permitted. Young people must not enter any bedroom other than their own at any time.

  • Day-visitors are not allowed to enter the residential areas.

  • No damage to the building or property. Young people are expected to replace or contribute to the cost of repair of any item they damage.

  • Smoking is actively discouraged. Smoking is not permitted in any activities, group meetings, lessons or anywhere inside the building. If young people need to smoke, designated times and an area is provided. If you are a smoker a care plan around smoking cessation will be offered to you.

  • To ensure the safety of the unit, young people, their belongings and their rooms may be searched if the staff think this is necessary. Young people will usually be informed about this.

  • Young people are expected to take part in all aspects of the Unit Programme and to attend meetings and activities on time.

  • The Simmons House programme begins at 9.30am, except during holiday periods. Lateness and/or non attendance will lead to a meeting with your core team. Non attendance at the community meeting will result in a warning.

  • All residents should go to their rooms by 10.30pm and be ready to sleep by 11.00pm, Sunday to Thursday. On Fridays and Saturdays young people may remain up until 11.30pm with the possibility to negotiate to midnight.

  • Once a week, young people will choose a film to watch that is chosen in morning meeting. Staff will decide if the film is suitable for all the young people present on the unit.

  • Difficult behaviour by young people at night will be viewed particularly seriously.

  • The kitchen will be closed at 10.30pm except on late nights when it will be closed at 12 midnight.

  • Residents will be allowed in their rooms during programme time only at the discretion of the nurse-in-charge.

  • The TV and stereo etc. may not be used during programme time. These will be turned down or turned off at the discretion of the nursing staff. This includes devices in any resident's room.

  • Young people are permitted to go out of Simmons House during their free time at nursing staffs discretion They must inform the Nurse-in-Charge before leaving and on return. The latest time of return is according to age:

13 years 9.00pm

14 years 9.30pm

15 years 10.00pm

16 years and over 10.30pm



We recognise how important it is to maintain contact with family, carers and friends outside of Simmons House for many of the young people admitted and we encourage this as part of the clinical work at the unit. However it is important that all time away from unit is agreed and this must be pre-planned in conjunction with the Simmons House team.

Although it might be appropriate for a young person to spend more than a weekend away from the unit, assuming they are clinically safe enough to do this, it is not possible for young people admitted to Simmons House to have lengthy periods of time on holiday or be absent from unit other than in exceptional circumstances and then, only by prior agreement with the Simmons House team.

Simmons House Rules

Rule breaking

Rule breaking

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.

Rule Breaking




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.

Serious Warning

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.

Reflective time away from Simmons House


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.


Consent & Responsibility

Consent & Responsibility

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.

Consent Responsibility
Legal issues

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.

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