Mental health urgent assessment centre opens in Blackpool

Facility is latest in series of improvements to psychiatric care environments

The new facility will support patients attending A&E during a mental health crisis
The new facility will support patients attending A&E during a mental health crisis

Mental health support has been improved with the opening of a new urgent assessment centre at Blackpool Victoria Hospital. 

The £600,000 Fylde Coast Mental Health Urgent Assessment Centre has been developed to support people attending the hospital’s accident and emergency department during a mental health crisis.

Designed by the Frank Whittle Partnership (FWP), the centre has three assessment rooms, a reception area, medical office, consultant offices, a meeting room, nurses’ office, staffroom, toilets, and staff showers.

And 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.

A mental health overhaul

Designed to provide a calm and safe environment, 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 a series of 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.

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

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

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

A safe space

Speaking about the latest project, 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.

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