Alvaston Ward – Low Secure Female Personality Disorder

Gender: Female

Age: 18+

Beds: 15

Alvaston Ward is a 15 bed specialist low secure service for women with a primary diagnosis of emotionally unstable personality disorder and for those with a mental illness that may or may not be present with emotionally unstable personality disorder.

The primary pre-cursor to an admission to Alvaston Ward is that the individual is ready to engage in a therapeutic programme. Service users may have a history of involvement in the criminal justice system or may present with significantly challenging behaviour, severe self-neglect and vulnerability.

The multi-disciplinary team proactively use Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT) and informed Dialectical Behaviour Therapy and Schema Therapy. The DBT programme is adapted to the needs of the service users and is tailored for individuals who may have educational or learning difficulty issues, such as dyslexia, which may act as barriers to the standard DBT programme.

“Cygnet Hospital Derby has been a life changing experience. It has offered me so much which has allowed me to develop skills, insight, confidence and much more. I just wish there were more hospitals like this one. I now feel empowered and ready to live my life.”Service user, Alvaston Ward

Psychological Therapy

Our team of forensic, clinical and assistant psychologists offer a variety of therapeutic interventions and personalised packages of therapy to our service users.

The team provide a range of therapies delivered in group and individual settings, including DBT, Schema Therapy, psychodynamic psychotherapy, CBT, trauma work, substance misuse and offending behaviour interventions.

Service user profile:

  • Women, aged 18+
  • Primary diagnosis of personality disorder and/or mental illness
  • Detained under the Mental Health Act, including Ministry of Justice restrictions
  • Requiring assessment and treatment in a secure environment
  • May have a history of trauma

Prison Transfer Programme

We also offer a specialised three month prison transfer programme, for stabilisation and assessment of prisoners whose mental health needs cannot be met in the prison environment.

  • Referrals and assessment: We provide a rapid response to referrals, assessment within the prison environment, quick decision on suitability for transfer within five working days and liaison with MOJ over transfer warrants
  • Comprehensive inpatient assessment: Twelve week assessment programme including full diagnostic and risk formulations, IQ and neurological assessments, stabilisation, treatment plan


  • En-suite bedrooms
  • External secure courtyard
  • Fully equipped gym
  • Art room at the Recovery College
  • IT classroom
  • Therapy kitchen
  • Sensory Room
  • Multi-faith room
  • Variety of activity and games rooms
  • Garden with outdoor seating
  • Lounge and dining rooms
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