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Additional beds open to improve mental health care

Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust has added an additional five beds to the existing unit at Northgate Hospital in Great Yarmouth, taking the total number at the site to 20.

It brings all of the area’s acute beds – which were previously split between Northgate and Carlton Court in Lowestoft – into one place to improve continuity, safety and quality of care.

As part of the project, a new section 136 suite is also being created to offer a safe place to assess people who police feel are vulnerable.

Additional support is also being provided in the community by an enhanced Crisis Resolution and Home Treatment and Dementia Intensive Support Teams, which provide intensive support in people’s own homes, in turn helping avoid unnecessary admissions to hospital.

The changes come following an extensive public consultation carried out by NHS Great Yarmouth and Waveney Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) last year.

In addition to the new beds at Northgate, space previously used at Carlton Court for adult beds reconfigured to create a centre of excellence to care for 12 to 18-year-olds with complex mental health needs.

Once work is complete in the spring, services currently based at Airey Close in Lothingland, will relocate to Carlton Court, with an additional five bedrooms added, taking the total available from seven to 12. New schoolrooms will also be created so that the young people can continue their education during their admission.

Gill Morshead, Locality Manager for NSFT, said: “We are delighted that work to create this new service model for adults requiring support for acute mental health problems is now nearing completion. Consolidating these beds in one place will mean we are able to provide better integrated, more joined-up services which are responsive to the needs of our patients.

“The next stage of the project will be developing the new centre for youth services at Carlton Court. This will make a huge difference to our patients, as the facilities at Airey Close – where care is currently provided – are outdated and in need of modernisation. Carlton Court offers a much more pleasant environment which we hope will impact positively on our patients’ recovery.

“We look forward to the completion of the work in early 2016 so that the people of Great Yarmouth and Waveney can really start seeing the reaping the benefits of these improved services.”

Andy Evans, Chief Executive of Great Yarmouth and Waveney CCG, said: “We are delighted that the improvements agreed following our public consultation are now coming on line and patients will soon begin to experience better facilities and services from them.

“Consolidating acute services on one site will help make sure patients can benefit from joined up care delivered by a stronger, bigger team which will bring significant benefits in terms of quality and safety."​