New mental health urgent care facility opens

Project completed at Blackpool Victoria Hospital

A new mental health urgent assessment unit has opened at Blackpool Victoria Hospital

Work to create a new mental health urgent assessment centre at Blackpool Victoria Hospital has been completed.

It has been developed to support people attending the hospital’s accident and emergency department during a mental health crisis.

The £600,000 Fylde Coast Mental Health Urgent Assessment Centre (MHUAC) is the latest health development spearheaded by leading architect, design and masterplanning practice, the Frank Whittle Partnership (FWP).

The centre has been created to meet the needs of the new service and FWP’s specialist design work includes creating a feature entrance to the building.

The unit has three assessment rooms, a reception area, medical office, consultant offices, meeting room, nurse’s office, staff room, toilets, and staff showers.

It will be staffed round the clock by a team of medics tasked with rapidly assessing over 16s who arrive at A&E experiencing urgent mental health needs, so they can access the right care and treatment.

Once again we have worked closely with the trust to create a modern facility that will provide a calm and safe environment for the unit’s team and those that they are looking to help and support

FWP and main contractor, Chorley-based D&G Builders and Joiners, have worked closely to deliver structural changes to the internal layout of the unit, in an area that was previously used by the hospital’s anti-coagulation dosing advisory service.

It is the latest in several important mental health projects delivered by FWP for Lancashire and South Cumbria NHS Foundation Trust, which provides a range of services including secondary mental health care across the area.

Earlier this year the trust appointed FWP to deliver a new NHS rehabilitation centre at Wesham, which will focus on helping people’s recovery from complex mental health problems.

And, at the beginning of the year, FWP’s specialist mental health team also completed the redesign of the trust’s Skylark Centre in Preston.

The rehabilitation unit at Royal Preston Hospital is now helping patients recovering from mental health conditions regain the skills associated with day-to-day living.

Speaking about the MHUAC project in Blackpool, David Simmons, associate partner and interior designer at FWP, said: “Once again we have worked closely with the trust to create a modern facility that will provide a calm and safe environment for the unit’s team and those that they are looking to help and support.

“Purpose-built, it has been designed to meet the needs of the vital service it will provide, with a distinct non-clinical feel to it.

“It is situated near to the hospital’s emergency department and will be a place where people will receive holistic assessments and be encouraged to bring carers, family, or friends to aid with the assessment process, should they choose to do so.”

Work on the unit continued throughout the COVID-19 lockdown period, making use of online meetings with the project and clinical teams to ensure the programme continued to move forward.

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