New city base for Norwich community mental health services after £600,000 refurbishment
PUBLISHED: 14:10 02 January 2018 | UPDATED: 14:10 02 January 2018
Mental health patients in Norwich are now receiving community mental health services from a new premises following a £600,000 refurbishment project.
Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust (NSFT) invested the money to redesign the decommissioned Henderson Ward, at the Julian Hospital site in Bowthorpe Road, into a new base for the city’s three community mental healthcare teams.
The work has seen a fully-functioning clinic room created, where staff can carry out treatments and physical health checks, as well as a large space for group therapy and training.
Space has been allocated for patient consultations, while a new waiting room and reception area have been added, complete with TV screens which provide information about the Recovery College, as well as upcoming courses and events.
Previously the ward was used by the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital (NNUH) as a place where patients were sent if they were medically fit for discharge but were not yet ready to start living independently again. There were protests when its closure was announced last year.
The creation of the new unit, which is called The City Anchorage, means city-based community staff who were previously spread across two sites – the Peddars Centre at Hellesdon and Gateway House in Wymondham – can now work from the same base.
It is hoped it will also be easier for service users to access, as the Julian Hospital is more central to the city and can be reached via several main bus routes.
The relocation has also seen additional staff recruited to fill vacancies.
Staff who cover the south of Norwich and Wymondham will remain at Gateway House and patients in those areas will still access services there.
Elizabeth Smith, acting service manager with adult community services, said: “We are delighted with our new, redesigned and refurbished base. It is helping us to further improve the services we provide to service users, while also ensuring they are delivered from the best possible environment.
“Our new HQ means we are now able to start offering more group sessions and improve recovery rates, while we also have access to all our consultants if needed. It also includes a treatment room so that our staff can better support and monitor the physical health needs of our service users.
“The City Anchorage is also much more central than our previous bases, which has brought care closer to home for a lot of people and made it easier for them to access.
“We’ve had some great feedback so far, with both service users and staff enjoying the new environment and the benefits it is bringing.”
Further improvements are planned at The City Anchorage over the coming months, including installing a self-check-in system to increase autonomy and privacy for patients.