A glossary explaining the different terms and words you may hear people use in inpatient care.

Unit/ Psychiatric Unit/ Clinic/ Inpatient ward/ Adolescent unit

These are all terms which you might hear to describe the hospital you are staying in.

Multi Disciplinary Team (MDT) reviews

The Multi-Disciplinary Team is a team of different professionals involved in your care. This may include your consultant, key worker, health care assistants, unit doctors, therapists, social workers and anyone else involved in your care.


While on the unit, staff will need to check on you on a regular basis to make sure you are ok. How often they check on you will depend on a number of different things like how well you are and your assessed ‘risk level’. Staff will do their best to make these checks discreet and respect your privacy as much as possible. Sometimes observation will mean that you are not allowed to be alone, even when using the bathroom.

Tip: Talk to the person observing you. “I found it made it more comfortable for me to talk to the person observing me. It made it less awkward.” – Tom.

Care Plans

These documents are created to outline why you are in hospital and what treatment will be provided to help you get better.

You may have more than one care plan outlining different support needs and interventions that will be put in place to support you.

Your care plan should be shared with you and you should be notified about any changes made to it.

Risk assessments

These are assessments carried out by unit staff to assess what your risk level is. This will usually involve asking you a number of questions to assess how you are currently feeling and will usually take into account any previous risk you have shown. These may be used to assess things such as your observation level and suitability for leave.

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