Work starts on new Mental Health Urgent Assessment Centre as part of Emergency Village plans
Plans to enhance and expand Blackpool’s emergency care departments in a new ‘Emergency Village’ have moved onto the next phase of construction in collaboration with Lancashire and South Cumbria Foundation Trust.Lancashire and South Cumbria Foundation Trust have submitted a business case to access approximately £8.1m of national funding.. This is to improve the service offering, enhance rehabilitation provision and to also support people with urgent mental health needs.The work has begun on the new Mental Health Urgent Assessment Centre, adjacent to Blackpool Victoria Hospital’s Emergency Department. This is a dedicated facility to support people with urgent mental health needs presenting in A&E in order to ensure the right care is given at the right time, by the right people, in the right place.Mental Health Clinical Director for Lancashire and South Cumbria FT, said: “The new facility for assessment of individuals who may present to the Emergency Department will enable us to provide a much more responsive service to our Emergency Department colleagues and of course service users. “Assessments can take place in an improved environment and support us in discharging service users home.”Following extensive consultation with staff, patient panels and external agencies, the project’s Programme Board has now finalised its plans and submitted the outline business case for a further £13m in capital funding from NHS Improvement to develop an ‘Emergency Village’ at Blackpool Victoria Hospital as part of a fund to upgrade NHS Services in England.The Emergency Village will create a better Emergency Department and improved Critical Care wards by upgrading facilities and adding capacity which will enhance the patient experience across the Fylde coast.Emergency Village and Critical Care development clinical lead for the Emergency Department, Dr Adeline Israel, said: “This new mental health (MH) model being developed to provide an alternative pathway for patients accessing emergency departments is a milestone in transforming emergency mental health care.“It is acknowledged that emergency departments are busy, high stimulus environments and are not the ideal place for patients suffering with mental health difficulties in crisis.“The proposed joint triage by ED and MH team also supports service users accessing the new unit when they require a safe environment for urgent assessment. “We are indeed glad for this collaborative initiative with Lancashire Care which is a very positive step towards better care for these patients.“The Mental Health Assessment unit will provide a calming environment for the assessment and development of treatment plans for more complex service users who are in crisis and are accessing emergency services but have no medical need.’’You can follow the progress of the project on the Trust’s website at: bfwh.nhs.uk/emergency-village. A 3D ‘fly through’ of the proposed new Emergency Department, featuring the new waiting and Minors area, can be viewed at https://youtu.be/RaoJeFwbkB8You can also follow the progress of the project on the Trust’s Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BTHEmergencyVillage and Twitter: @BTH_EVandCC
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