The following is a descriptive study of Willoughby Ward, a psychiatric intensive care unit, opened in Parkside Hospital, Macclesfield, in July 1986. It provides a moderately secure facility for the treatment of psychiatric patients within both Crewe and Macclesfield Health Authorities. The unit has 15 beds, of which two are funded and used by Crewe area, where, unlike Macclesfield, the ... [Show full abstract] psychiatric unit is located in the district general hospital. Managed as a locked ward, the patients are admitted under the provisions of the Mental Health Act 1983. As well as being mentally ill as defined in the Act, the patients were disturbed to a degree as to be unmanageable in open conditions.