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New beds to open thanks to £670k investment

​Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust (NSFT) is investing £670,000 in extending low secure facilities for male patients as part of a £3.85 million redesign of its secure services.

Five additional en-suite rooms will open at Foxhall House, on the St Clement’s Hospital site in Ipswich, this month, increasing beds from 11 to 16. Other parts of the unit are also being refurbished.

The expansion comes as part of a major transformation of NSFT’s secure services, which are commissioned by NHS England, working hand in hand with the Ministry of Justice.

Foxhall House cares for men who have come into contact with the criminal justice system and have an acute mental health need, such as bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, psychosis, severe depression or personality disorder. The majority of patients in NSFT’s secure services come to a unit from a court, prison or detention centre, and will remain in supported care as they serve their criminal sentence.

The units offer assessment, NHS treatment and rehabilitation, with the aim of promoting recovery and reducing the risk of reoffending.

The transformation project has recently seen the delivery of a first-of-its kind low and medium secure blended service for women in England, with a £895,000 extension and refurbishment project at Whitlingham Ward, on the Hellesdon Hospital site, near Norwich.

And during this year and into next, a further £2.2m will be invested into redeveloping and refurbishing the medium secure Norvic Clinic, in Thorpe St Andrew, near Norwich.

As part of the two-year transformation, the Trust’s secure beds will be reconfigured with the total number across both Norfolk and Suffolk increasing from 80 to 82, and not fit for purpose wards being replaced with up to date facilities.

Karen Clements, Locality Service Manager for Secure Services, said: “Many of our service users will remain within our secure units for a number of years while we work intensely with them to help them to help them recover better mental health. As the units act not only as a hospital but as their home during that time, it is vital that we make sure the environment is a positive one.

“More comfortable surroundings promote a better state of mind and, in turn, encourage more effective relationships with staff. All of this can help to diffuse potentially difficult situations without the need for physical interventions.

“At the same time, we are also reconfiguring our beds across the whole service to make sure we have the right number of each type, in the right place. Recent years have seen an increase in demand for low secure beds rather than medium secure, which is why we are extending the ward at Foxhall House, for example.

“Making these changes will help us ensure that patients can receive safe, high quality care closer to home without the need to be sent out of area for assessment, treatment and rehabilitation.”

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