What to Bring

Please bring enough clothes for 7 days and remember to include:

  • Pyjamas
  • wash bag
  • clothes inc including a coat/warm jacket and weather-appropriate shoes. 

There is a laundry room on the unit.

Young people are not permitted to go bare foot on the unit, (this is due to infection control), and therefore are required to bring and wear slippers.

Young people are asked to wear clothing that is appropriate and to be aware that they are around their peers, in a mixed gender environment. It is important to remember that all the young people are here for their own reasons and that some people can be shocked, surprised or their distress triggered by seeing things. Therefore, you are asked to wear clothing that isn’t excessively revealing and that does not expose too much of your skin, i.e., shirtless, hot pants. If staff believe that your clothing is inappropriate they will discuss this with you, ask to you change and may ask that those items of clothing are taken home.

You may bring posters and other personal items to decorate your room and a small stereo (battery operated, and not a cable/lead).  We advise young people to bring books, MP3 players, craft materials, small musical instruments and other appropriate items to keep you occupied during any spare time. Any item which contains a camera will need to be discussed with the team, and may have to be returned home, or the camera disabled.

Keeping Sowenna Safe

We wish to maintain a “Safe ward”. The following items are NOT allowed on the Ward at any time.  If you bring any of the items listed below into Sowenna they will be removed from you and returned to you at the end of your stay with us.  In the event that any illegal items are found, these will be handed directly to the police.

This list is not an exhaustive list and other items not listed below may still be restricted depending on circumstances and assessed risk. These are items we do allow on the ward but as they may pose a risk to some people, access may be under supervision or limited times and place of use. Restricted items may be stored separately.

Items that are Prohibited on the Unit:
  • Razors, Knives, pointed sharp implements.
  • Plastic Bags.
  • String / Cables / Straps.
  • Hair Dye & Hair Bleaching Products
  • Candles, aromatherapy burners, incense sticks.
  • Any IT or other equipment with internet access.
  • Matches / Lighters/cigarettes and Tobacco
  • Modems / Network Cards. Memory Sticks.
  • Blue/White Tack / Chewing Gum/ Sticky Tape.
  • Energy Drinks Containing Caffeine e.g. Red Bull and any other ‘opened’ beverage.
  • Hot Water Bottles / Microwave Heat Bags.
  • Herbal Remedies.
  • Alcohol / Illicit Substances/Legal Highs, medication, tablets and herbal remedies.
  • Glue / Paint. (Except when staff supervised).
  • Lighter Fuel / Turpentine Substitute / White Spirit / Surgical Spirit / Other solvents/Flammable Substances.
  • Camera/Video Equipment/ unless care planned for school or therapeutic purposes; this will need to be discussed at admission and the camera will be kept in a secure area off the ward).
  • Tins / Cans / China /Tobacco Tins/ Glassware.
  • Heavy Jewellery / Tweezers/ Magnets.
  • Pornographic Material.
  • E Cigarettes (Electronic Cigarettes).
  • Heavy Duty/Steel Toe Capped Footwear.
  • Firearms.

Any other items which are judged to compromise the safety of the ward. We will regularly review this as a team.


Items that are Required to be Kept Safely by the Nursing Staff:
  • Scissors, pencil sharpeners and other sharp items
  • Permanent marker pens, including Sharpie’s
  • Craft knives and other sharp craft materials i.e. sewing needles
  • Laptops
  • Mobile phones
  • Aerosols, e.g., deodorant, body spray, hair spray
  • MP3 players
  • Hair straighteners or curling irons (as fire hazard if accidentally left switched on). These will be kept in the property box, and will need to be tested for electrical safety (PAT tested). There are ward items for your use.


We recommend that you hand money and valuable items over to nursing staff for safe keeping, We ask that you only have £5 max at any one time.

Admission Procedure:

A nurse from the team will meet you in Reception and help you bring your bags to your room, after searches have been completed (see Bag and Clothes Search Info).  If you are well enough, we will ask you a few questions e.g. confirming personal details, mood, what you expect from your admission etc.  This is part of ‘Core Inpatient Treatment’.  We will continue this assessment over the following 2-3 weeks. 

Medical Check-up:

A member of the nursing staff will take your height and weight as well as your pulse, blood pressure, temperature and respirations when you are admitted.  A doctor will see you within 24 hours for a medical check-up.

Any open wounds or wound sites will be reviewed and you will be asked to keep these covered; this follows effective infection control procedures.

Bag and Clothes Search:

All new patients have their bags searched on admission and any sharp objects, medication and hair straighteners/curling irons removed.  These will be kept in the property box in the nursing office.  You can request to use these items, but, it is at the discretion of staff for how long and if you need supervision. We will also search your bags after home leave, or leave with friends or family and any inappropriate items will be removed and stored in your property box, or, given back to your family to take home with them.

You will also be body searched using a metal detector (if deemed necessary) when you return from any leave, including unescorted walks and leave of any kind. This it to help keep you and other young people, staff and visitors on the unit safe at all times.

This search will take place before you enter the main ward environment.