New Eloise Penn Ward

Mission Statement
“Our mission is to provide and deliver the best possible healthcare to all male clients requiring treatment for acute and chronic psychiatric conditions, with a focus on patient and family education in order to improve the patient’s quality of life, reduce the stigma of mental illness and facilitate a smoother transition back into society.”

The history of psychiatry in the Bahamas began in 1899, the building where patients received treatment was located on the hill at the rear of the then Bahamas General Hospital. This facility housed 130 patients.  In 1956 Sandilands Hospital was built on Fox Hill Road. In 1961 the combined unit for Male and Female patients was separated thus the Male Admission Ward was established for acutely ill male patients.  In the early 1980’s the Male Admission Ward was renamed the Eloise Penn Ward. Mrs. Eloise Penn was a former Principal Nursing Officer and a pioneer in the field of psychiatric nursing. Mrs. Penn provided dedicated service from 1973 to 1983.  Other pioneers included Dr. Henry Podlewski, Dr. Brian Humblestone, and Nurses Robert Smith, Laban Brown, Rudolph Hanna and Lucy Darville. 

A larger, more modern building was needed due to an increase in the number of male patients requiring treatment for mental illnesses. 

On December 14th 2001 a new ward was commissioned by Governor General, Dame Ivy Dumont and named the New Eloise Penn.  On January 17th 2002, staff and patients moved into the New Eloise Penn ward.

The New Eloise Penn Ward was built to house fifty-eight (58) patients. It has two dormitories, three semi-private rooms, two seclusion rooms, three nurse stations, a conference room, doctor’s office, social worker, psychologist office, recreational / occupational therapy room, patient’s dining room, staff tearoom, laundry room, linen room and outside courtyard. There is continuous camera surveillance thus enhancing a safer environment for patients and staff.


  • Maintain optimum patient care
  • Maintain a safe patient /staff environment
  • Encourage patient’s families to support them through:
    • Regular visits
    • Participation in family sessions
    • Encourage day and weekend leave in care of family

Diagnosis Treated

  • Bipolar Disorder
  • Schizophrenia (various types)
  • Drug Induced Psychosis
  • Major Depression with suicidal tendencies
  • Acute Psychosis
  • Substance Abuse
  • Seizure Disorder

Therapeutic Team Roles
Nursing Staff

Nursing care for patients is planned using the nursing process system of assessment, planning, implementation and evaluation. The nursing process addresses the patient’s mental, physical, emotional, and social needs. Nursing care provided includes meeting patient’s hygienic and nutritional needs, administration of medication, individual, group and family educational sessions, and recreational and occupational activities. The dedicated nursing staff of the New Eloise Penn Ward ensures that a high standard of nursing care is given so that our patients may return to an optimum level of functioning.

Recreational Therapists
Recreational sessions are held Monday to Friday, 10:00 a.m. -12:00 noon and 2:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. except for Wednesday sessions that are held on Sandilands’ grounds, the ward and off Sandilands’ compound. Therapists from the department work with the patients. Activities include basketball, volleyball, table games, movies, swimming in the pool, monthly birthday celebrations, bus rides, swimming on the beach and attending Fox Hill Day Activities.

Doctors conduct regular conference sessions to assess patients’ condition and prescribe medication as necessary. Patients and their families are educated about their conditions, medication and follow-up care.

Social Workers
Social workers are instrumental in connecting the team with families and other outside agencies e.g. National Insurance and the Magistrate Courts. They conduct individual and family educational sessions. Social workers are also involved with patients’ discharge planning concerning housing, arrangement of transportation back to courts and Family Islands.

The psychologist participates in doctor conferences for patients and their families. Psychological evaluation and individual counseling sessions are done when required. The psychologist also conducts individual, group and family educational sessions.

Occupational Therapists
Occupational therapy sessions are held Monday to Friday from 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 noon. Therapists from the Occupational Therapy Department involve patients in activities to enhance their skills that would enable them to function effectively upon discharge from hospital. Activities include gardening, cooking, craft making, budgeting and how to conduct one’s self in the workplace.

Source of Referrals

  • Magistrate Courts and Judicial systems (New Providence and Family Islands)
  • Her Majesty’s Prison
  • Detention Centre
  • Transfers within the institution, especially from the Renovated Eloise Penn Ward
  • Day patients and group home patients requiring admission

Family Responsibilities

  • Attend doctor conferences to be educated about relative’s diagnosis, progress, medication and follow up care. Ask relevant questions and express concerns to doctors or the Nurse-in-Charge of the ward.
  • Visit patient regularly, bring clothing, toiletries and snacks

After Discharge:

  • When possible accompany patient to follow-up clinic
  • Check medication packages periodically to prevent running out
  • Never discontinue medications unless instructed by the doctor
  • Never allow patient to discontinue follow-up clinic unless ordered by the doctor

Visiting Hours
11:00 a.m. – 12:00 mid-day

Monday - Saturday and Sunday & Holidays
2:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.

For additional information or to inquire how you can assist, please contact us

Contact Information
New Eloise Penn Ward
Sandilands Rehabilitation Centre
P. O .Box FH-14383
Fox Hill Road
Nassau, Bahamas

Tel:   (242) 364-9658 or

         (242) 364-8952 ext. 4090

Fax:  (242) 324-3922

view more

Partner Links