King's Lynn's new £4 million mental health ward completed
A new £4 million mental health ward in Lynn is ready to receive its first patients following the completion of building work.
The Samphire ward facility at the Chatterton House site on Goodwins Road was unveiled in a ceremony today.
Among the guests was England's chief nursing officer, Ruth May, who was returning to the town where she served for two years as chief executive of the Queen Elizabeth Hospital.
She said: "I’m so pleased to see this great development for local mental health services.
"The ward is going to make a huge difference to people’s experience of treatment at a time when they are feeling most vulnerable, and it’s so important we get this right.”
The new ward replaces existing facilities at the QEH, which health chiefs say are outdated.
A crisis resolution and home treatment team, who are currently based in the Fermoy unit, will transfer to Chatterton House next week.
But some critics have argued the project does not go far enough to address the level of mental health need in West Norfolk and surrounding areas.
However, Diane Hull, chief nurse for the Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust, which oversees mental health services, said the project represented a "vast improvement."
She said: “We’ve worked closely with our service users to design the ward area and choose the furnishings, and have tried to make the space as comfortable, therapeutic and calming as we can. It’s really important for our patients to feel relaxed and reassured during their admission.
“The project has given us the opportunity to introduce additional services for the benefit of patients and their families.
"This includes our new day treatment service, which is giving clinicians more choice about the best way to support service users while ensuring more people can access the care they need within the community, too.”
Sarah Jane Ward, director of nursing and quality assurance for the West Norfolk Clinical Commissioning Group, added: “We recognise how service users and staff will benefit from receiving and providing care in this modern therapeutic design, and from the bringing together of services in one place.
“The CCG is also working with NSFT and other system partners to provide people with alternatives to attending the emergency department, such as a mental health hub in King’s Lynn provided by West Norfolk Mind.”