30 Jul

Membership FAQs 

What do we have to do once we’ve joined?

It’s completely up to you. We just provide ideas and resources and wards adapt and add to these in fantastic, energising, creative ways. We recognise the huge pressures you’re already under, and try to ease and definitely not exacerbate these! We hope that you’ll want to reciprocate the openness and generosity of Star Wards’ members, by sharing your best practice examples, challenges and resources such as benchmarking tools, and guidelines. This is also, of course, a great way of publicising the great work you’re doing.

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There are 75 ideas. Where do we start??

Most members have firstly set up a Star Wards’ steering group, with nursing and other staff (including from the domestic and catering teams), service users and carers. And most have chosen to carry out a benchmarking exercise. This sounds rather heavy-duty but has invariably been found to be a really morale-boosting exercise for staff, as it shows how much good practice is already taking place. Members have created some great benchmarking tools, all available from our website.

Our advice would be to go for some quick wins at first, as this is a great way of making a real difference and raising team spirits.

Also… the 75 ideas are just part of Star Wards. It’s as much about approach and creativity as about specific ideas.

Is Star Wards all about providing more activities for patients?

The main impact of taking part is definitely an immediate increase in activities for patients. But it’s also about sharing responsibility with patients so that they can rebuild and extend their confidence, independence and skills. For example, all patients should be managing their own medication by the time they leave hospital, as 0 minutes later they’re going to be doing so back home.


We’re a secure unit. Can we join?

Yes please! Our members are across the full range of mental health wards and happily adapt the ideas for elderly, rehab, learning disability and all other patients.


How do I join?

Please complete the online joining form – click here.  You can join up as a WARD (and if you do work on a specific ward, we recommend this) or an INDIVIDUAL if you are someone who is just interested or works across a number of wards. We welcome EVERYONE!


Does it cost anything to join?

Thanks to generous support from charitable Trusts Star Wards is free to all NHS wards. There is a modest £500 annual subscription for independent hospital wards.

We’ve introduced all 75 Star Wards ideas. What now?!

Winning the Full Monty Award 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. Apply for the award here.



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.