HUTH’s ‘Penthouse team’ delivering care the gold standard way

Communications TeamNews

No Criteria to Reside ward team lead the way in patient-centric initiatives.

In the bustling halls of Hull Royal Infirmary, a special group of healthcare professionals is redefining the patient experience within the No Criteria to Reside ward.

Comprising occupational therapists, physiotherapists, registered nurses, and Intermediate Care Support Group Workers, this dynamic team is turning the often challenging waiting period for medically-fit patients into a vibrant and memorable chapter of their hospital stay.

What sets the team apart is its unwavering commitment to personalised and bespoke services. Understanding the unique needs of each patient, the team has crafted individualised rehabilitation plans and emotional support systems that go beyond the traditional medical model.

Patient using a colouring book

Patient being assisted to use basketball hoop













Nicola Bellhouse, Senior Physiotherapy Assistant says “It is just about identifying what patients need; what will at least make their lives better before they leave hospital. We often talk about patient-centred care, but this is really tailored bespoke to the patient.

“And because we have such a diverse patient group – a young man who’s 21 and a man who’s nearly hundred – we try to create room for everybody and bring the different age groups together. As long as they are comfortable, we don’t have a problem with coming up with things they can do to get better.”

Recognising the healing power of social interaction, the ward team has orchestrated an array of activities, including breakfast clubs, singing and dance groups and even special game days.

These activities not only entertain but also foster a sense of community and camaraderie among patients, transforming the ward into a lively hub of shared experiences.

Rebecca Hardcastle, Clinical Lead Occupational Therapist said it was important to keep patients who can get out of bed active while they wait to go home or other care facilities.

Patient playing with cards

Patient making breakfast












“We run multiple different clubs every morning, anybody who can come in and make their own breakfast will come into the kitchen, make their own breakfast and eat it. We have tried to set it up more as a reablement ward rather than a normal beds ward. So patients are much more active in their own care.

“We have had a few patients who are waiting for care packages for meal preparation but have now become independent just by coming in regularly and doing these minor tasks.”

But that’s not all. In the afternoons, the team runs a singing and dance class for patients who would rather get in the groove. For those who want to get some exercise in, there’s a basketball hoop to help them do just that.

The team also has a special member who pays regular visits – a therapy dog. Rebecca says the dog is an important addition to the team because it helps patients to engage in everyday activities they try to shy away from.

Molly – therapy dog

Penthouse Newspaper












“We’ve got people who struggle to bend down and put their socks on but when there’s a therapy dog, they’re capable of bending down and stroking the dog. This is some form of rehab but often the patients don’t even know that’s what they’re doing.”

In a stroke of genius, the ward introduced its very own newspaper – Penthouse News. This creative outlet serves as a communication bridge within the ward, informing patients of events outside hospital walls.

Nicola explains the reasoning behind the initiative.

“We know some people who come here have major illnesses. Some of them have been hospitalised or institutionalised for a long time and they can sometimes forget what happens on the outside. And we can help with that, so we have created the Penthouse News which we circulate every week.

“We select a few good news stories from the BBC and other local newspapers that not only keep them informed but cheer them up as well. We also include the weather forecast just to put into words what they see through the hospital windows. The newspaper is printed every Friday and circulated on Monday to all patients who can and are capable of reading.”

Being away from home and family, the team also organises birthday parties for patients, so they don’t feel alone on one of the day most special days of their lives.

The success of the No Criteria to Reside ward after only three months since its establishment is a testament to the passion and dedication of its staff, who fund many of the activities from their own pockets.

Their commitment to enhancing the quality of life of their patients is truly gold standard. The team is not just providing medical support; they have created an environment where patients can truly thrive during their final days in the hospital.