All mental health wards in Herefordshire and Worcestershire will have individual rooms with en-suites for each patient, after national funding was secured to eliminate remaining mixed sex dormitories.
Worcestershire Health and Care NHS Trust, which is responsible for mental health services across both counties, provides inpatient accommodation at a number of sites. Most of the accommodation has private, en-suite rooms for patients with the exception of Holt Ward and Athelon Ward which are at the Elgar Unit in Worcester and the Stonebow Unit in Hereford.
It has now been confirmed that the Trust has secured investment to eliminate the final few dormitories in those units, replacing them with modern, individual private rooms. The works will cost £26million and is part of national £400m programme. Work is due to start this year with a phased completion over the next two to three years.
Sarah Dugan, Chief Executive at Worcestershire Health and Care NHS Trust, said: “While the majority of our units provide modern, private facilities, improving the accommodation at Holt Ward, Athelon Ward and the Stonebow Unit has been a priority. Replacing the dormitories for private rooms will improve the individual care that can be given to patients, reducing the length of their stay in the facility and supporting their right to privacy and dignity while they are with us. It will also have benefits for patient safety, for example through better infection control and by reducing the risk of incidents involving patients or staff.”
In addition to improving inpatient units, the Trust has just launched new Neighbourhood Mental Health Teams across Herefordshire and in Malvern, Wyre Forest and the rural areas of Worcestershire (Martley, Knightwick, Great Witley and Tenbury). These teams are made up of mental health professionals, GPs and voluntary and community organisations to provide better alternatives to ward admission which will help people with longer-term mental health conditions get support in their local area, closer to home. This is part of a national pilot with plans to roll out the approach across Worcestershire in the future.