People accessing mental healthcare in Ipswich will soon receive a brighter welcome in more spacious surroundings thanks to a £300,000 improvement project carried out by Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust (NSFT).
The work, which started earlier in the summer, will see a new reception added at Mariner House, in Handford Road, and the main entrance to the building improved. As well as significantly increasing the space available to service users, families and staff, the project will bring together two waiting rooms which are currently split by steps, in turn making access easier for visitors.
The improvements are a key example of the work the Trust is doing to enhance the buildings from which it delivers services, with the aim of boosting the experience people have when accessing care.
Helen Whight, Community Services Manager for East Suffolk, said: “We are really pleased that work has started on these improvements, which will bring real benefits for service users, their families and our staff.
“The current reception and waiting areas are on two levels, which can be challenging for people with mobility problems while also making it more difficult for staff to observe our service users and make sure they are safe and comfortable while waiting for their appointment. Over the years, we have also increased the services we offer from the buildings, which means our original waiting rooms simply aren’t large enough to cope with demand any more.
“The improvement project will allow us to offer a much nicer environment for service users and staff, along with comfortable seating and lots of space. This will make a really big difference, especially to our service users, who will hopefully find the new layout much calmer and easier to navigate.”
The project has been carefully planned to minimise disruption to the services delivered from the site, which include Suffolk Wellbeing Service, the Access and Assessment Service, Ipswich Integrated Delivery Team (community mental health) and the Community Memory Assessment Service.
Work to connect the new reception to the existing building is due to take place over a weekend, with the whole project due for completion later in the autumn.