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Exciting project to transform mental health care in west Norfolk

Plans to further transform and improve mental healthcare in west Norfolk - including building a new £4m inpatient unit and expanding services - are to be discussed by the CCG's Governing Body and NSFT Board next week.

The proposals - which have been drawn up in consultation with service users, NSFT clinicians and the West Norfolk CCG - outline how inpatient and outpatient mental health services for adults could more effectively be provided from one, central King's Lynn site. *

The Trust and CCG have spent the past year working in partnership with service users and staff to draw up the plans, which include developing a new and modern 16-bed inpatient unit for west Norfolk, as well as updating existing outpatient facilities.

Inpatient facilities are currently based in the Fermoy Unit, on the Queen Elizabeth Hospital site, and these would be transferred to the new unit at Chatterton House, in Goodwin's Road, which will undergo a £4m refurbishment programme.

The new unit would offer state-of-the-art, en-suite single room facilities for men and women with a variety of mental health conditions, such as depression and bipolar disorder. One of the beds would be reserved for patients discharged from the general hospital who are awaiting onward referral for a mental health condition.

The Crisis Resolution and Home Treatment teams (CRHT) – also currently at Fermoy – would also move onto the Chatterton House site.  And 'Alternative to Admission' services would be developed there, including day treatment services for appropriate service users who are well enough to return home but still need some further support.

NSFT's Community Mental Health Services, including outpatient clinics, already have a base at Chatterton House and the move would base all adult acute mental health services in West Norfolk onto one site (apart from those provide in people's home and places of residence).

NSFT's CEO Michael Scott said: "We are very excited about these proposals and think that together we have found the best solution for redeveloping and improving our west Norfolk adult acute services, and ensuring their sustainability into the future.

"This will see significant financial investment into new and existing services, as well as more effective ways of working to improve the experience of people accessing our care."

West Norfolk CCG's Chair Dr Ian Mack said: "We are delighted to be bringing forward these proposals to our Governing Body for developing our local adult acute mental health services. We have been working closely with NSFT and look forward to being able to improve what can be offered within the local area."

Pauline Davies, NSFT's West Norfolk Locality Manager, has been leading the review of services in the west of the county.

She said: "Once the work is complete, we will be able to offer truly integrated adult mental health services from the site. People who have been discharged following inpatient care, would be able to return to the same building to access community services.

"The significant refurbishment would offer us an excellent opportunity not only to improve the facilities from which we provide care, but also introduce to additional services for the benefit of patients and their families.

"If all goes to plan, there would be a connecting area built between two empty wards at Chatterton House and the whole space completely refurbished to the highest standards. Every patient would benefit from a modern, en-suite bedroom, and the ward will also meet single sex criteria.

"Our new day treatment service, or an alternative to admission service, will also be hugely valuable, as it will give clinicians more choice about the best way to continue supporting service users to meet their individual needs."

NSFT's Board and the West Norfolk CCG Governing Body will discuss the proposals in their meetings both being held on Thursday, June 29.

If they ratify the plans, the next step will be to continue to liaise with service users, carers, partners to gather more feedback on the proposals and finalise the plans, with building work potentially starting in 2018. The proposals are expected to be on display at the CCG's Annual General Meeting on the 20th July at King's Lynn Town Hall.

(*Note: This does not include the Wellbeing Norfolk & Waveney service, nor the Psychiatric Liaison service which will remain in the A&E Department of the QEH and other properties)

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