30 Jul

New Members’ Quick Start Guide

Download Star Wards

Click here to get the kit and get started!


You’ve probably already got a group of people together who are keen on being involved with Star Wards. These are likely to be a mixture of staff from different disciplines (including non-medical staff like those from catering and domestic services), patients and patient reps, and perhaps carers.

Star Wards’ group

So that you’re not personally stuck with doing everything, and of course to be democratic, inclusive etc etc a steering group is pretty invaluable. Even a less structured but committed group of people is also a real help.

Deciding priorities

The Star Wards’ group, whether Steering or just vaguely hinting, can decide what are the priorities for your ward. Again, this can be done in quite a structured way or on a gut instinct basis. The structured route will probably take you to completing a benchmarking sheet – downloadable here.

You’ll see from these that wards are using benchmarking as a way of gauging where they’re currently at with providing an actively therapeutic environment for patients and as a way of action planning. But one of the main benefits of the exercise has turned out to be that it invariably gives staff a real morale boost to have acknowledged all the good practice that’s already in place.

Need some help?

We’re offering services the opportunity to book our services, including training days, workshops, project facilitation and coaching (click here for more information). We offer reasonable rates and a bespoke service which aims to enhance the experience of patients, carers/family members and staff. We believe our offer will assist with some of the major challenges services face – to improved standards of safe care and to have less incidents of harm to staff and patients – leading to less staff absence, less complaints, reduced cost of investigation and legal action and reduced reputational damage. We can take you on a Bright Journey fitted to your needs and built around your requirements. For more please information contact us.


We really want you to HAVE FUN with Star Wards, so set aside time to CELEBRATE! Every small positive change is a wonderful thing. Say thank you, have cake, tell others.

And tell US. We publish a seasonal newsletter filled with stories from wards like yours and also have a dedicated site called Wardipedia for great ideas – all from great people like you.

Many wards work towards the Full Monty Award – and it is a fantastic accomplishment, representing exceptional expertise, commitment and caring by ward staff. As well as this providing some ‘official verification’, wards have found that the process of writing it up provides another boost to staff morale. So if that floats your boat – go for it! Apply for the award here.

Apply for the award here.

Beyond the 75 ideas

The 75 ideas are just that – ideas. Definitely not standards, eligibility criteria or anything that would look comfortable in a government document. (The easiest way to differentiate between anything from Star Wards and anything Official is that the former will have exquisite photos of a Tibetan Terrier and the latter won’t.) Wards have been very diplomatic about some of the ideas but we’ve been able to crack the tact code and recognise that things like departing patients staying on an extra couple of days to support new patients are unrealistic. So feel free to ignore any that aren’t helpful to you.


All our resources and publications can be downloaded from our website – navigate to the downloads page.

We look forward to hearing how things go for you, and to visiting. In the meantime, please do get in touch if there’s anything we can do to support your involvement with Star Wards.



Click here to make a donation


You might be wondering – what difference does Star Wards actually make to mental health wards? It’s a question we continuously ask ourselves, to make sure that we are having a positive impact. Well, we have over 800 wards signed up to receive our resources and, in the past, we have had Star Wards independently evaluated. A micro-summary of what our users have said is that wards who tried Star Wards ideas had:

This is not about us, it is about people like you. These improvements are down to your hard work. And you can check our newsletters for wards doing amazing things right now. So we are told we do help you make a difference – and we want to get better and be here to help you in the future. So, join up, join in and let us know your wonderful ideas – and if you can donate to us or fundraise for us, we would be delighted to hear from you. Thank you for all you do.