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Major £2.2m improvement project nears completion

A major improvement project which has seen Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust (NSFT) invest £2.2m transforming the secure facilities from which male patients receive care is nearing completion.

Parts of the Norvic Clinic, in Norwich, have been completely refurbished and the space rejigged, with the original five wards transformed into three larger wards with integrated seclusion facilities. The final ward moves will take place over the coming weeks, with the new-look unit fully operational by late January.

From 1 January, the Norvic Clinic will also change its name to Northside House. Service users and staff were invited to make suggestions for the new name before being given the opportunity to vote for the winner from a shortlist.

The improvement work has taken place in phases over the past 12 months to enhance facilities for patients while enabling NSFT to better manage demand for beds.

The project has seen the new 16-bed low security Blakeney Ward created by bringing together the Thorpe and Acle Wards. The ward includes eight en-suite single rooms, and 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 Catton Ward has also been extended from 10 to 18 beds and an integrated seclusion suite created. Along with the 16-bedded Drayton Ward, it will provide medium secure care for assessment, treatment and rehabilitation.

Karen Clements, Locality Service Manager for Secure Services with NSFT, said: “We are delighted that work on this extensive transformation is almost complete. The upgrades which have taken place at Northside House will ensure that service users can receive safe, high quality assessment, treatment and rehabilitation.

“The changes we have made have significantly improved the facilities in which our service users receive care, which is really important as many may remain within the units for several years while we work 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.”

The project at Northside House came as part of a wider £3.85 million redesign of NSFT’s secure services. Low and medium secure female services have been amalgamated, while an additional five low secure male beds opened at Foxhall House in Ipswich last year.

As part of the transformation, the total number of secure beds provided by the Trust has increased from 80 to 82.

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