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First phase of major £2.2m improvement project complete

​The first phase of a major £2.2m project to improve Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust’s (NSFT) secure services for male patients is now complete following the opening of a redeveloped 16-bed ward.

The new low security Blakeney Ward has been created by bringing together the Thorpe and Acle Wards at the Norvic Clinic in Norwich. It will cater for male patients who have come into contact with the criminal justice system and have been assessed as suitable for care within a low secure environment.

The new-look ward includes eight en-suite rooms, while work has taken place to modernise and improve the environment. Work on the project began in the summer and was completed just before Christmas.

The change forms part of a larger project to reconfigure the clinic. The final phase will see the Catton Ward extended from 10 to 18 beds and a seclusion room created within the ward. Along with the 16-bedded Drayton Ward, it will provide medium secure care for assessment, treatment and rehabilitation.

The changes being made to the Norvic Clinic have been designed to enhance facilities for patients while enabling NSFT to better manage demand for beds. It will also help the Trust to further improve its secure services, which were rated by the Care Quality Commission’s inspectors as ‘good’.

Karen Clements, Locality Service Manager for Secure Services with NSFT, said: “We are pleased that the first phase of this important project is complete. The new-look ward will ensure that service users can receive safe, high quality care closer to home without the need to be sent out of area for assessment, treatment and rehabilitation.

“The changes we are making will significantly improve the facilities in which our service users receive care, which is vitally important as many may remain within the units for several years while we work intensely with them to help them recover better mental health.

“Providing care from a comfortable environment also encourages more effective relationships with staff, which can help to diffuse any potentially difficult situations which may arise without the need to increase physical or procedural security.”

The year-long project at the Norvic Clinic comes as part of a wider £3.85 million redesign of NSFT’s secure services. So far, low and medium secure female services have been amalgamated and an additional five low secure male beds opened at Foxhall House in Ipswich, increasing the total number on site to 16.

As part of the transformation, the total number of secure beds provided by the Trust will increase from 80 to 82. These beds will provide assessment, treatment and rehabilitation for people who have a mental health need such as bipolar disorder, psychosis or personality disorder and who have come into contact with the criminal justice system.

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