King's Lynn's Chatterton House staff ‘proud’ as new mental health facility begins to take shape
A £4m project to centralise adult acute mental health services in Lynn is well underway, with the new facility at Chatterton House expected to open next year.
The new 16-bed inpatient unit, named Samphire Ward, on Goodwins Road is on course to be open by May or June.
Pauline Davies, Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust’s West Norfolk locality manager, said: “This is state-of-the-art, the provision here is of an excellent standard.”
Members of staff from various different departments all said they were “proud” to see the project take shape, which will see the current inpatient treatment, crisis and home treatment teams transfer from the Fermoy unit at Lynn’s Queen Elizabeth Hospital.
The new facility has a corridor of eight beds for men and eight more for women, although if numbers are not split equally, all beds can still be used by dividing the areas.
It also houses a staff area, a patient area, a reception, a waiting room, an assessment room, a family room and a ‘section 136 suite’ which will allow patients being brought in by police to arrive discreetly.
While touring the facility on Monday, staff said the new patient area will be “therapeutic” with the unit itself designed with a focus on safety.
They said: “All the issues we have had are being ironed out.”
Improvements include the ability for staff to see all the way down the corridors of the beds unit, while ensuring patients’ privacy and dignity.
Staff believe the centralisation of mental health services in Lynn, with the exception of the psychiatric liaison service who will continue to work at the QEH’s emergency department, will help care become more inter-linked and create “stronger patient journeys”.
Services that will also continue away from Chatterton House are those delivered in people’s own homes, and Wellbeing Norfolk and Waveney.
Contractors SEH French are set to hand back the building in March, after which they will spend about two months preparing it for use.