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£4m funding bid to help improve West Norfolk services sees success

​Plans to further transform and improve mental healthcare in west Norfolk have received a £4m boost as a bid for national funding has been successful, it has been announced today.

The investment will cover the capital costs of building a new inpatient unit as well as updating existing outpatient facilities to enable mental health services to be located on one central site in King’s Lynn *.

The bid for national funding from NHS England was led by NSFT, in partnership with West Norfolk CCG, and working in collaboration with Norfolk and Waveney STP.

The bid’s success was part of an announcement from NHS England today around £325 million of capital investment being made in to just 15 schemes around the country.

NSFT’s CEO Michael Scott said the investment – which will be spent on the building and refurbishment work – was a huge vote of confidence in the project and meant that capital money which NSFT had earmarked to fund the project could now be invested into making other improvements in the Trust’s estate.

“Bidding for national funding is an important part of NSFT’s commitment to work with our CCGs and within the STP to encourage more investment into local mental health services, in order to continue to improve the services and facilities for local people.

“This is a significant national investment into adult acute services in West Norfolk, and it comes on top of the £15m growth we have seen come into our Trust this year as we continue to bid and negotiate,” he said.

West Norfolk CCG’s Chair Dr Ian Mack said: “We are delighted to learn of this award and will work closely with NSFT to support the implementation of the scheme.”

Patricia Hewitt, Norfolk and Waveney STP Chair said: “I am delighted by today's announcement of £4 million investment into a new mental health unit in West Norfolk that will support the development of much-needed and updated facilities for local people.”

Michael added: “As mental health lead for the Norfolk and Waveney STP I am also pleased to note how this collaborative working is further helping our collective aim to see more appropriate levels of investment come into local mental health services.

“Most importantly this money will be used to help us deliver more effective ways of working to improve the experience of people accessing our care, and ensure the sustainability of those services into the future.”

NSFT and the CCG have spent over a year working with service users and staff to draw up the plans to improve services in West Norfolk, which include developing the modern 16-bed inpatient unit.

Inpatient facilities are currently based in the Fermoy Unit, on the Queen Elizabeth Hospital site, and these are to be transferred to the new unit at Chatterton House, in Goodwin’s Road.

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. One of the beds would be reserved for patients discharged from the general hospital who are awaiting onward referral for a mental health condition.

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).

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

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.”

Plans for the new unit and refurbishment project at Chatterton House are expected to be on display at West Norfolk CCG’s Annual General Meeting tomorrow, at King’s Lynn Town Hall.

(*Note: This does not include the local services of Wellbeing Norfolk & Waveney which will continue to be provided in community settings, nor the Psychiatric Liaison service which will remain in the A&E Department of the QEH)

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