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Exciting project to transform mental healthcare begins

​A £4m project to transform and improve mental healthcare in West Norfolk while expanding the range of services available to support patients within the community has begun.

Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust (NSFT) has contracted SEH French, a local construction company, to build a new 16-bed inpatient unit at Chatterton House in King’s Lynn, as well as refurbishing existing outpatient facilities.

During construction, a connecting area will be built between two existing empty wards and the whole space completely refurbished to the highest standards. The work began in May, with the site now cleared and piling added so that the foundations for the new build can be laid.

Once complete, the project will bring all adult secondary mental health services in the town onto one single site, at Goodwins Road, making them easier for people to access. The exceptions will be services which are delivered in people’s own homes or places of residence, Wellbeing Norfolk & Waveney and the Psychiatric Liaison Service, which is provided from the ED at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital.

Pauline Davies, NSFT's West Norfolk Locality Manager, said: “We are delighted that work has now begun on this important project which will truly integrate adult mental health services from the site. This means that people who have been discharged following inpatient care will be able to return to the same building to access community services, offering all-important continuity of care.

“The refurbishment has given us an excellent opportunity not only to improve the facilities from which we provide care, but also to introduce additional services for the benefit of patients and their families. This will include a new day treatment service which will give clinicians more choice about the best way to support service users while ensuring more people can access the care they need within the community following an admission to an inpatient unit.”

The Chatterton House plans were developed in consultation with service users, NSFT clinicians and West Norfolk Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), working in collaboration with Norfolk and Waveney Sustainability and Transformation Partnership (STP). The capital project has been paid for with NHS national funding.

The new unit will 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.

Once the project is complete in spring 2019, 'alternatives to admission' services for service users will continue to be developed, including day treatment services. Inpatient facilities and the Crisis Resolution and Home Treatment Teams, which are currently based at the Fermoy Unit on the Queen Elizabeth Hospital site, will also transfer to Chatterton House.

John Webster, Accountable Officer for West Norfolk CCG, said: “This project is going to make a tremendous difference to West Norfolk service users and their families. It is nice to see it finally taking shape.” 

Caption: NSFT staff visit Chatterton House in King's Lynn to look at the progress of a £4m project to transform and improve mental healthcare in west Norfolk.

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