Ladywell Unit (Wharton Ward), Enter and View Report

Healthwatch Lewisham staff and Enter & View Authorised Representatives carried out a visit in  February, 2023, to the Wharton Ward of the Ladywell Unit, based at University Hospital Lewisham. It provides services to women ages 18-65, with acute psychiatric illness. During the visit we talked to service users, staff, and management. 

Some Interview Responses:


  • Patients are seen by a psychiatrist as soon as possible on admission to the ward.
  • Preference of staff members is available, specifically if a patient would rather be treated by one staff member over another.
  • Visits are encouraged; however, not mandatory if a patient wishes to not involve their family.
  • Kitchen is managed by ISS (a private company), but patients may also order in food.
  • Meetings and ward rounds are built into the daily schedule, causing some activities to fit around them. 


  • Staff feel supported by their manager and encouraged to ‘learn by doing’ under supervision.
  • Patient and staff interactions were seen to be supportive and caring, with staff engaging in activities with patients.
  • Staff feel that by increasing the number of staff the services provided would improve. 


  • Due to the visit being outside of the typical visiting hours, we were unable to talk to the family and friends of the residents.


  • Patients expressed concern for those who do not have regular visitors, possibly leading to increased loneliness and depression, specifically during visiting hours.
  • Mixed reviews on medication, one concerned that she was overmedicated, while another states that the medication is helping with her psychosis.
  • Lack of staffing may lead to patients not having support when needed or uneven distribution of support.

Some Findings:

  • While there are limited parking spaces available, public transport nearby include a variety of bus stops/routes, Ladywell train station is a five-minute walk, and bicycle racks at the hospital.
  • Reception area and ward appeared to be clean and tidy.
  • Patient rooms appear to be safe and decorated with contrasting colours as well as LED lights to simulate daylight
  • Clinical room for medical checks and medication room allow for privacy and dignity among residents.

Some Suggested Recommendations:

  • If undergoing redecoration or remodelling, engage with current staff, service users, and family/friends to give suggestions.
  • Information on display should be refreshed periodically and ensure that patients and visitors can easily find material.
  • Enhance staffing resources at peak times such as meals or visiting hours. 

For a full detailed report and responses to recommendations, please use the download links below.


File download
Ladywell Unit (Wharton Ward) Enter and View Report
Ladywell Unit (Wharton Ward), Report & Recommendations Response Form

You might also be interested in