A recommendation in a CQC report advised that the Trust should remove dormitory style accommodation. A review of the Trust’s estate identified that the only facility that did not meet this requirement is the Basildon Mental Health Unit (BMHU) which currently provides dormitory accommodation.
The Trust decided on the refurbishment of the existing Mental Health Inpatient Wards, into 4 No. Single bedroom working age Mental Health Inpatient Wards which included providing new external spaces. The external environments were designed to help create a therapeutic environment, one that facilitates healing, creativity, and familiarity.
These proposals provide an improved patient experience and provide a safer environment for each patient, together with meeting the privacy and dignity provisions for each patient as required under current guidance.
Improvement on previous environment
The previous environment was dormitory accommodation with 5 patients sharing a ward-type bay with single shared toilet and shower facilities, with little or no privacy and dignity.
The wards had very dated on-ward facilities, and the external gardens were not utilised due to safety concerns by the Trust.
The physical safety was considered throughout the ward:
- Oxehealth – Oxehealth technology has been installed in rooms across all wards to monitor patients’ vital signs 24 hours a day.
- Kingsway Anti-barricade Doors – This project was the first NHS Trust in England to install the new Kingsway Sentry doorset.
– Ligature detection on all three sides, linking back to staff alarms.
– Doors linked to access control to monitor patients in rooms, negating the need for key access.
- Custom built anti-ligature wardrobes, desk, bedside cabinets, beds, and associated fixtures and fittings.
- Anti-ligature windows – New Polar windows were installed throughout.
The previous environment was dormitory accommodation with 5 patients sharing a ward type bay with single shared toilet and shower facilities, with little or no privacy and dignity.
The wards had very dated on ward facilities, and the external gardens were not utilised due to safety concerns by the Trust.
The interior design had to deliver Psychological safety as well as Physical safety, which was created by:
- Feature graphics and wall art throughout
- The curtains were redesigned to remove the header and all cords, sewing in the curtain clips so additional clips could not be added and forming a pleat so that they hang in a familiar way.
- A pale green colour was added to top of the anti-ligature toilet seats to compliment the hygienic cladding colours.
- A herringbone Parquet laminate flooring to day spaces.
- The reception waiting area had artwork added to give a welcoming entrance and make relatives and patients feel relaxed. This area sparked creativity in the patients who contributed by decorating the hot air balloons which hang above the waiting area.
The previous gardens were not utilised due to safety concerns and service users were restricted to small internal courtyards with little light and limited usable space due to large planting beds.
The new external garden provides a safe welcoming environment providing:
- Shaded seating
- Grassed area
- Horticultural zone
- Activity and gym space including a basketball court
- Britplas fencing with imaging to safeguard privacy and dignity to the adjacent ward
- New glazed link to improve visual and safety concerns
Sustainability and Budget
Trust committed to a scheme costing £12.5m, which included:
- 4 No. single bedroom wards.
- New staff facilities.
- Refurbishment of the surrounding environment, and improvement of main entrance.
- Sundry schemes to enable administration facilities to be relocated off site, thus creating room for an additional ward to allow ease of staffing.
The works were carried out over 4 phases within a live healthcare environment and were completed in June 2022 within the original budget.
“This is the best ward I have been to; it is like a hotel. I would be happy to pay for my stay here. The ward environment is therapeutic”.