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What is Doorways?

The Doorways project is investigating whether increasing the access to therapeutic activities on acute inpatient psychiatric wards improves ward atmosphere. Naturally, increasing the access that service users have to these therapy groups raises a number of interesting questions, many of which are the focus of our research.

At the heart of this project is the central question - what are the effects of increasing the amount of these therapies that the ward delivers to service users?

We are carrying out a detailed investigation of the ward atmosphere before and after the increase in therapeutic activities, to explore how this change is perceived by patients and staff alike.

In addition, we will explore the sustainability of the positive effects of these changes (particularly on staff morale and service user satisfaction) as well as monitoring any possible negative effects.


Doorways has already been a great success across seven acute inpatient wards located within the boroughs of Southwark and Croydon, which between them serve a catchment areas with a population of approximately 250,000. The project is now being expanded across the surrounding boroughs of London .

The study will run for a period of 24 months, during which there will be five periods of data collection. At each data collection time, two wards will be assigned at random to receive an intervention of a new program of therapeutic activities.