Lishman unit at Bethlem Royal

The Lishman unit at Bethlem Royal Hospital offers nurses the opportunity to work with patients requiring neuropsychiatric treatment and rehabilitation from all over the country.

Inpatients with a significant brain injury, there is often a need to treat both the physical effects of the injury and the difficulties these cause, as well as the psychological reactions such as severe depression. As a result, nurses on the Lishman unit work with patients who have physical, mental health and neurological issues.

Two pathways in the 15-bed unit offer a unique challenge, giving nurses the chance to work with patients who have been referred to a national unit because of their complex needs.

The second pathway is for patients with severe functional neurological disorders. In these patients, there are physical symptoms or disabilities that do not have underlying medical causes but are thought to be a reflection of psychological problems.

Patients bring a complex mix of physical and psychological issues, requiring a combined “mind and body” approach from clinicians. They are admitted for a 12-week programme, which includes nursing, physiotherapy, occupational therapy, clinical psychology, medical input and, where relevant, speech and language therapy.