Capacity Problems Cause Mental Health Sufferers to Travel Away from Home

NHS figures suggest chronic problems related to mental health in NHS England.

According to the latest reports from the health service, as many as 2,000 people suffering from mental illnesses are sent miles from their homes every month.

Of those who are forced move, in excess of 25 per cent ultimately travel over 30 miles from their home area.

This latest information came direct from reports compiled by the Social Care Information Centre.

This is a worrying trend as it has been acknowledged that such moves often cause significant distress for both patients and their families.

The data was published by the Observer newspaper after Norman Lamb, the ex-health minister who obtained the figures, passed them to the publication.

“It’s an outrage what happens. We know that out-of-area placements have a link to an increased risk of suicide. This would never, ever happen with a physical health problem, such as a stroke or heart failure. Why should we accept this for someone with acute mental illness, when we wouldn’t accept it for someone with cancer? It’s complete discrimination at the heart of the NHS,” Lamb asserted.

Figures from the records indicate that in April 2,067 people were looked after as inpatients outside the area covered by their local mental health trust.

This had increased to 2,198 by August.

Particularly guilty of this process were health authorities in Devon, Lancashire and Kent and the Medway.

Bed shortages where considered a particular problem in these regions.

Studies conducted previously have indicated that some patients have been sent as far as 370 miles from their homes in extreme circumstances.

Reflecting on the issue, Mind, the mental health charity, suggested that treatments carried out a significant distance from the home of patients can significantly influence the quality and rapidity of recovery.

“Friends and family can form a hugely important support network, so when someone is sent far away it can have a big impact,” said Vicki Nash, head of policy and campaigns at Mind.

“It is concerning enough having a loved one in hospital with a mental health problem, but the extra stress of travelling to see them adds to the strain.”

Although the government has suggested that it will address the situation, admitted cuts to bed numbers are making the situation considerably more complex.

A Department of Health spokesman defendied the policy towards mental health in the NHS.

“An urgent review of out-of-area acute mental health treatment is currently under way, led by [ex-NHS chief executive] Lord Nigel Crisp. Mental health minister Alistair Burt has said that with this review, and consulting with the Mental Health Taskforce, he will announce targets and an ambition to deal with a situation which has been allowed for too long.

We have made it clear that local NHS services must follow our lead by increasing the amount they spend on mental health and making sure that beds are always available.”

 
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King’s College Research Finds Online Games Could Have Alzheimer’s Influence

Research carried out by scientists at King’s College London suggests that playing online games can have a positive impact on reasoning and memory skills.

7,000 people over the age of 15 were tested by researchers, having initially been recruited through the BBC, Alzheimer’s Society and the Medical Research Council.

The extensive experiments took place over a six-month period, with results having implications for the future treatment of conditions such as Alzheimer’s.

As part of the study, participants were encouraged to play a 10-minute brain-training package on a regular basis.

Volunteers completed cognitive tests, including assessments of grammatical reasoning and memory, before the study began and again after six weeks, three months and six months.

Improvements were seemingly most evident when participants played the games included in the study on at least five occasions during each week.

Scientists have previously demonstrated that people who engage in complex occupations, or exercise their brains regularly with activities such as crosswords, tend to have lower rates of dementia.

The research team behind this new study believe that its findings could help preserve mental functions in older people, and ensure that debilitating conditions, and general decline in cognitive functions, are generally avoided.

Dr Anne Corbett, from the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience at King’s College London, commented on the results, indicating that the research had been a worthwhile study.

“The impact of a brain training package such as this one could be extremely significant for older adults who are looking for a way to proactively maintain their cognitive health as they age. The online package could be accessible to large numbers of people, which could also have considerable benefits for public health across the UK.”

Corbett was also keen to put the research into context.

“Our research adds to growing evidence that lifestyle interventions may provide a more realistic opportunity to maintain cognitive function, and potentially reduce the risk of cognitive decline later in life, particularly in the absence of any drug treatments to prevent dementia.”

Dr Doug Brown, from the Alzheimer’s Society, stated: “Online brain training is rapidly growing into a multimillion-pound industry and studies like this are vital to help us understand what these games can and cannot do. While this study wasn’t long enough to test whether the brain-training package can prevent cognitive decline or dementia, we’re excited to see that it can have a positive impact on how well older people perform essential everyday tasks.”

There are an estimated 850,000 people with dementia in the UK, with this figure expected to rise to one-million by 2025.

 
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NHS England Report Indicates Poor NHS Psychiatry Performance

Recent reports from NHS England indicate that nearly three-quarters of England’s liaison psychiatry services in hospital emergency departments are considered substandard.

133 out of 179 A&E departments are below minimum requisite levels for liaison psychiatry.

The figures have been gleaned from a national study carried out by NHS England.

And the 74 per cent of departments found to be below the minimum core standards will be a concern for psychiatry in the UK.

This service has been identified as necessary for trusts to improve outcomes and increase savings for the NHS.

The latest figures related to liaison psychiatry services come in the context of NHS England investigating how to make a £30 million investment in the development of mental health services.

This sum has been earmarked in order to improve the situation in accident and emergency departments in the existing financial year.

NHS England wrote to several Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) last month, outlining how it intends to spend £25 million.

The CCGs were informed that the money would be shared based on a ‘fair shares’ allocation formula, with £4m additionally targeted at urgent and emergency care vanguards.

£1 million left over will then be divided up between the four regions in order to prepare for future psychiatry provisions.

With half of these funds having already been released, the consensus of opinion is that the spending earmarked for these psychiatry services is currently insufficient.

Symptomatic of the inadequacy of psychiatric services is the fact that 169 A&E departments had a shortage of 1,270 trained nurses to support the delivery of liaison psychiatry.

In addition, 153 departments had a deficit of 230 trained consultants.

NHS England also found that 11 investigated hospitals had no liaison psychiatry service at all, and only 35 departments surveyed delivered at above the minimum required standard.

Clearly staffing levels in the psychiatry department of the NHS are currently massively insufficient.

Several foundation trusts require at least four full-time members of staff in order to get up to the minimum levels required.

Meanwhile, research carried out by the Centre for Mental Health indicates that this is a critically undervalued aspect of the NHS.

A study conducted by the organisation suggests that liaison psychiatry can deliver £4 worth of savings that every £1 invested, via such improved health service outcomes as reduced length of stay.

With the situation already serious, experts are warning against any suggestion of the withdrawing  of funding from other areas of mental health inpatient care.

 
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NHS to Halve Autism and Learning Disability Beds

The NHS has announced that it intends to halve the number of hospital beds available for people with learning disabilities and autism.

This latest decision comes in the context of an increasing lack of spare bed in the NHS.

It has been reported by the Healthcare Times that the acute sector is already running at winter levels despite the fact that occupancy wouldn’t be expected to have reached this degree yet.

However, the decision is also a response to the abuse scandal in the NHS at Winterbourne View.

The largest learning disability hospital, Calderstones in Lancashire, will be closed as part of this verdict.

But campaigners opposing the decision have questioned funding in the new system.

Six care workers were jailed and five were given suspended sentences following a culture of cruelty that was reported at Winterbourne View near Bristol.

The NHS has conceded that not only was this a massive scandal, but also that the health service has failed to deal with autism and learning difficulties with satisfactory aplomb.

Around 2,600 such patients are in hospital in the NHS at present, and the majority of these patients are also long-term residents.

NHS figures indicate that every bed within the health service cost £175,000 annually, and the report states that housing people with autism and learning difficulties indefinitely in this condition is frequently inappropriate.

Yet it is often resorted to due to a lack of other viable options.

In a significant shift in the way care is provided, hospital units will be closed and £45m spent over three years to fund the move to community services.

Simon Stevens, the chief executive of NHS England, commented on the matter, and was adamant that the correct decision was being made.

“As good and necessary as some inpatient care can be, people with learning disabilities are clear they want to live in homes, not hospitals. We’ve seen some progress over the last few years, but now is the moment to grasp the nettle and build the excellent community-based support that will allow people to move out of hospitals,” Stevens asserted.

With the new plans in place, it is anticipated by NHS England that the number of hospitalised patients in this particular niche will fall between 1,300 and 1,700 over the next three years.

In a joint statement, the charities Mencap and The Challenging Behaviour Foundation commented that there are still many unanswered questions that need to be addressed before the situation can be truly clarified.

“We are concerned about whether sufficient resource and investment is being made available up-front to develop the local support and services required. Families will be fearful of the fact that there is little new in the report about how local areas can be compelled to make the necessary changes to support services and guard against a postcode lottery of poor care.”

Around 700,000 people may have autism in the UK, according to the National Autistic Society, or around 1 per cent of the population.

 
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New Campaign Aims to Improve NHS Mental Health Treatment

A new campaign has been launched calling for an increase in mental health spending. And numerous notable individuals have been recruited in order to assist the prominence of the initiative.

Over 200 celebrities have backed the campaign, which suggests that the severity and prominence of mental health difficulties mean that they must receive more priority.

The scheme was launched by former mental health minister Norman Lamb, Conservative MP Andrew Mitchell and former Labour spin doctor Alastair Campbell.

Recently, the government increased overall mental health funding to £11.7 billion annually.

Yet there are still question marks regarding access to treatment for people with mental ill health, and there is still often considered to be a deficit between the way that mental health and physical problems are treated.

The NHS has officially indicated that the standard of care for the mentally ill should be equal to the physically injured.

This new scheme was agreed back in 2012, and in accordance with this initiative, the government pledged an extra £1.25 billion to be invested in mental health over the next five years.

Often there can be inequality in the standards of care that mentally ill and physically injured people receive, and the campaign suggests that the efforts to plug this gap have not been sufficient.

Access to treatment is a particular issue, with 75 percent of mentally ill children receiving treatment whatsoever.

It is particularly chilling to know that the life expectancy of people with mental health difficulties is 20 years less than for the population as a whole.

Comedian Frank Skinner, former footballer Ian Wright and presenter Graham Norton are among the high profile names to back the campaign.

Paul Farmer, Chief Executive of the charity Mind, indicated his intention to back the initiative.

“When people don’t get the right help at the right time, the risk is that they become more unwell and need more intensive – and expensive – treatment further down the line. The cost is estimated at billions of pounds a year in “loss of work, in payment of benefits, and the impact on families,” Farmer asserted.

Defending the position of the government, Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt suggested that the Conservative party had invested more money in mental health than any previous governments.

“We have made great strides in the way that we think about, and treat, mental health in this country. Whether it is our talking therapies reaching more than three million people, the police working with mental health nurses to aid those in crisis, or school counsellors helping young people with eating disorders, we are making good progress.”

About a quarter of the population will experience some kind of mental health problem in the course of a year, with mixed anxiety and depression the most common mental disorders in Britain.

 
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Mental Health Detentions Rise For Third Year in Succession

Figures from the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC) indicate that there were 58,000 detentions under the Mental Health Act in England over the last 12 months.

The number of detentions this year represents a 10 per cent rise on figures from the previous financial year.

The figures relate to the Mental Health Act legislation, under which it is possible for people with mental health disorders to be detained in hospital against their wishes for treatment.

Statistics have been collated from NHS institutions all over England by the HSCIC, and are considered to be an authoritative representation of the situation.

By way of comparison, the number of people being detained amounts to approximately 0.15 per cent of the UK population; or one in 600 people.

With mental health clearly a major issue across England, it has been pointed out that there are issues relating to resources in this sector.

Having received the figures, one mental health charity commented that doctors were being forced to detain patients in order to find them a suitable hospital bed.

According to the report submitted by HSCIC, there has been a steady rise in detentions over the past three years, certainly a worrying statistic.

An additional 4,000 people were detained or sectioned in NHS hospitals and 1,270 in private hospitals from April 2014 to March 2015, as compared to the previous 12 months.

Considering the declining economic situation in Britain, the extent of mental health issues should perhaps not come as a huge surprise.

Although there can be many different causes of mental health difficulties, research has shown that there is a clear link between socio-economic status and mental health problems.

And Marjorie Wallace, chief executive of the mental health charity SANE, indeed confirmed her belief in this impression in her comments on the latest statistics.

Wallace was particularly concerned with regard to legislation on sectioning.

“It is a scandal that you have to be sectioned in order to get treatment. What we need is more, rather than fewer, beds where those who need sanctuary and healing can receive help without having to be deprived of their liberty,” Wallace asserted.

Another report from the HSCIC contains an even more alarming statistic.

It documented that one-in-28 adults was in contact with mental health services last year in England.

This amounts to around 1.85 million people requiring mental health and learning disability services over a mere 12-month period.

Undoubtedly, this succinctly underlines the extent of mental health issues in the country at present.

 
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NICE Guidance Focuses on Link Between Alcohol and Dementia

Guidance provided by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) suggest that middle aged people should reduce their alcohol consumption in order to cut the risk of developing dementia.

People aged between 40 and 64 who regularly drink alcohol increase their risk of developing the mental condition.

The new guidance has been based on the established principle that positive lifestyle changes during middle age are likely to persist into later life.

This is seen as being a critical habit-forming period that can seriously prolong life, as well as improving its quality in a person’s autumn years.

While there has been a particular focus on cutting alcohol consumption, the guidance submitted by NICE suggests that a raft of lifestyle changes can be particularly beneficial for middle-aged people.

Stopping smoking, being more physically active, adopting a healthy diet, and achieving and then maintaining a healthy weight are all considered viable health options as well.

While the guidance suggests that stopping alcohol consumption completely is the ideal scenario, significantly reducing it is also considered effective.

NICE also suggest that arranging an NHS Health Check with a general practitioner should also be considered advisable.

This is effectively a free health MOT for people aged between 40 and 78 which is a good indicator of overall physical condition.

The health check is centred around a range of simple but important tests, such as blood cholesterol and pressure tests, designed to assess your risk of developing a number of chronic diseases, including type 2 diabetes, dementia, heart disease and stroke.

Healthcare professionals will be available to discuss results with those individuals who book an NHS Health Check.

Advice will tend to focus on the action that can be taken to diminish the risk of certain conditions, with advice given regarding the improvement of vascular health in particular.

It is thought in some quarters that due to lifestyle choices that we could see the first generation in the coming decades that has a shorter life expectancy than the preceding generation.

In order to assist the general public in improving the health in line with the suggestions, the NHS has produced health apps and trackers.

More information on positive changes to lifestyle and ideas on healthy living are available in the Live Well section of NHS Choices. 

It is notable that this guidance is being issued in the context of a serious debate on a proposed sugar tax.

This discussion is indicative of the poor lifestyle and diet choices that are having a negative impact on the health of the nation.

 
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Monitor Announces New Contractual Plans in the Mental Health Sector

The health regulator Monitor has signalled its intention to move the mental health sector away from block contract funding in the near future.

Mental health providers will be required to adopt new payment systems as part of the new initiative from April 2016.

As plans for the new payment system accelerate, Monitor has launched a consultation on the subject.

This plan would mean that mental health providers and commissioners would be forced to adopt either year of care, episode of treatment, or capitation payment systems.

Monitor has also signalled its intention to move away from the payment of services based on the clustering of mental health patients according to type and severity.

The health regulator has stated that the existing payment system does a poor job of incentivising early intervention and recovery-focused care.

In addition, block contracts have also been associated with other problems in the NHS.

It is thought that cuts in mental health funding in recent years can be attributed to this contractual system.

But although it is generally acknowledged that a payment by results system would be superior, delays have been multiple in recent years, ensuring that such a system has yet to be put in place.

The quality of mental health cluster data has been a particular barrier to implementation, with the information available not compatible with a payment by results system.

Launching its consultation into the matter earlier this week, Monitor stated that changes would “increase equity of access to evidence-based services and reward quality and outcomes.”

Additionally, the health regulator suggested that block contracts failed to incentivise “delivery of the objectives in the Five Year Forward View.”

The consultation will run until 19th November, and is attempting to collate views on the methods that providers would be most likely to adopt in the forthcoming financial year.

Additionally, any challenges implied in the implementation of these plans will also be assessed by Monitor.

Contractual issues in the mental health sector can be considered particularly important considering the financial challenges that the NHS faces in the coming years.

It is already expected that the NHS will accumulate a financial deficit of £2 billion by the end of the financial year, with this figure already approaching £1 billion after just one quarter.

This is indicative of the overall picture of NHS finances, with the publicly-funded health service required to make £30 billion of savings by the end of the decade.

Although some of this figure will be offset by increased funding, efficiencies are still considered to be extremely important, with the government seeking in the region of £20 billion worth of such efficiency savings by the end of the decade.

 
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Think Tank Finds Mental Health Sufferers Disproportionately Admitted to A&E

A recent think tank study suggests that people suffering from mental health problems are far more likely to face emergency health issues.

The Nuffield Trust and Health Foundation think tanks discovered that people in England who have mental health difficulties are five times more likely to be admitted to hospital as an emergency patient.

It was notable that the think tanks found that the majority of admissions of mental health patients were related to physical ailments.

This perhaps goes against the orthodox view which would expect such individuals to generally be admitted to hospital for psychological or mental health-related conditions.

Researchers working on the study believe that its results indicate that the NHS is prone to treat mental health conditions in isolation.

This opinion was supported by the fact that only 20 percent of admissions in the study were explicitly linked to mental health conditions.

By contrast, mental health patients were considerably more likely to be admitted to emergency units as a result of what are considered routine problems such as hip replacements and other minor surgery.

In order to draw this conclusion, the think tanks assessed over 100 million hospital records dated between 2009 and 2014.

This was a comparative survey, with patients suffering from mental health problems and those without such issues both assessed.

The study found that in 2014, for every 1,000 people with mental health difficulties, there were 628 emergency admissions.

This concurred starkly with the same figure of 129 for individuals without any such issues, meaning that mental health admissions were approximately 5 times those of other individuals.

In addition, visits to accident and emergency units were also three times higher in the mental health problem grouping, with more than 1,300 attendances for every 1,000 patients with mental health problems.

Report author Holly Dorning concluded that many of the problems that befell individuals with mental health difficulties could be overcome with superior care. “It is striking that people with mental ill health use so much more emergency care than those without and that so much of this isn’t directly related to their mental health needs. This raises serious questions about how well their other health concerns are being managed. It is clear that if we continue to treat mental health in isolation, we will miss essential care needs for these patients,” Dorning concluded.

Roughly one-quarter of the UK population will experience some kind of mental health problem in the course of every year, with mixed anxiety and depression the most common mental disorder in Britain.

 
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Major International Dementia Conference to be Held in Birmingham

A major international conference tackling dementia will take place at Birmingham in November.

Held between 3rd and 4th November, 2015 at the Vox Centre, the International Dementia Conference will bring together leading medical figures from around the globe.

In addition, attendees from a variety of different industry backgrounds will be on hand in order to learn and share ideas on the best ways to tackle this global issue.

Issues facing managers in the NHS, care homes, social care and housing providers will be on the agenda, with a particular focus being placed on best practice, changing cultures and planning for dementia.

International speakers will include:

Professor Timothy Kwok, Director of Jockey Club Centre for Positive Ageing, Chinese University of Hong Kong, who will focus on improving hospital care through prevention strategies and psycho-social interventions for dementia. The prevention strategies under investigation will include vitamin B, nutritional supplement, TaiChi and cognitive training;

Helen Matheny, Director of the Alzheimer’s Disease Outreach Program, USA, who will discuss the first private-public state-wide partnership to support living well with dementia;

Professor Tara Cortes, New York University College of Nursing, who will share success in online training and offer an exclusive preview into the forthcoming US National Alzheimer’s Strategy.

The number of people affected by dementia is expected to double in the next couple of decades on the basis of the ageing population alone.

This is therefore a critical issue for the NHS going forward, and this insightful international conference in Birmingham will provide the opportunity for experts in the field to examine the issue in depth.

There will also be a focus on economic issues related to commerce, and Professor June Andrews, Director, Stirling University’s Dementia Services Development Centre, and a leader in developing this exclusive conference, commented that “understanding how your business best interact with people diagnosed with dementia can have significant impact on long term success.”

The international dementia conference has been established as an interactive, educational platform, in order to drive understanding of this critical and debilitating condition.

Over the two days of the conference, 60 concurrent session presentations will be held.

The sessions are intended to address topics ranging from best practice, housing, design, understanding, caring and many more valuable areas for dementia discussion, with the overarching aim of stimulating debate.

Organisers have also stated that the conference programme will feature a series of individual talks, panel discussions and practical case studies highlighting the recent trends related to Best Practice; Inspection and Regulation; Training and Regulation; Law and Ethics; and Art and Culture; Housing; Financing Old Age; Living with Dementia; Research and Design; Care at Home; Families, Faith and Communities.

Professor Andrews concluded that the event will be vital for anyone wishing to gain an understanding of dementia.

“This is a conference for everyone who want to know how to better serve and care for those affected by dementia. Best practice ideas will be shared and trends revealed that will help many sectors prepare to confront this increasingly important subject.” 

For further information regarding attending the International Dementia Conference, please click here.

 
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Labour MP Denounces Situation Surrounding Closure of York Mental Hospital

The closure of a mental health hospital in York has led to the local MP describing the health service as “broken”.

York’s Bootham Park Hospital recently closed its doors permanently, following a decision by the Care Quality Commission.

According to the commission, the systems in place at the institution were insufficient to support patient safety.

Rachael Maskell, MP for York Central, has been extremely critical of the decision and situation, and has asked questions of the Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt regarding the Yorkshire hospital.

The Care Quality Commission particularly condemned the performance of the trust with regard to safety.

An inspection took place to follow up on a report earlier this year, and the commission found that mandated maintenance work and other safety changes had not been carried out as agreed.

In addition, there were issues related to ownership and responsibility which further complicated what was already a disturbing picture for the hospital.

The Vale of York Clinical Commissioning Group’s commissioning responsibility for Bootham Park Hospital resulted in the transfer of the service from Leeds and York Partnership NHS Trust to Tees, Esk and Wear NHS Trust.

With the new establishment unable to carry out the requisite building and service risks, the commission felt that it had no choice other than to shut Bootham Park Hospital.

This unfortunately led to existing patients being dispersed, with some having to be sent away as far as Middlesbrough.

To put this into perspective, Middlesbrough is approximately 50 miles from York.

Commenting on the issue, the aforementioned Maskell stated that she was extremely perturbed by the situation.

 “My first concern has been for the patients, families and carers to ensure that their needs are catered for. I have also advocated for staff who are also affected by this crisis. However, due to my detailed understanding of the NHS, and from discussions with all major stakeholder organisations involved in this crisis, it has become evident that huge risk has been created as a result of the complexity of the Health and Social Care Act 2012 where conflicting interests and politicisation of the system has manufactured this situation,” Maskell stated.

The Labour MP also underlined her intention to seek a direct response from the government.

“I have now put calls into the minister for mental health Alistair Burt and health secretary Jeremy Hunt to call for an independent inquiry into Bootham Park to ensure that patient safety can never be put at risk again, and to support an emergency plan to secure the long term health plan for those with mental health challenges in York,” Maskell asserted.

The complexity of the reorganised NHS, where commissioners, providers, regulators and infrastructure bodies, has meant that nine months have passed before essential suicide prevention work at the 18th century hospital could be carried out.

It is clear that the situation led to a significant risk to patient safety, with highly vulnerable individuals having to suffer the ignominy of being moved to new clinical teams mid-course through their rehabilitation.

 
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Redevelopment of Broadmoor Hospital Continues to Unfold

Broadmoor Hospital is currently being transformed completely into a new state-of-the-art psychiatric facility.

The ancient Victorian asylum is undergoing the makeover as part of an initiative being carried out by the West London Mental Health NHS Trust.

As part of this process, the trust is constructing a series of new buildings that will replace the existing hospital.

Although this is a lengthy process, the West London Mental Health NHS Trust insists that the new facility is still on track to open in 2017.

Once it is complete, the new Broadmoor Hospital complex will provide fit-for-purpose accommodation for patients.

It is expected that the state-of-the-art mental health facilities provided at the hospital will enable staff to greatly improve the way that they work with mentally ill patients resident at the former Broadmoor site.

In particular, it is anticipated that it will be possible for healthcare professionals employed there to spend an increasing amount of time on therapeutic activities and treatments.

Previously, the amount of time spent escorting patients around the premises, that are over 150 years old, was a significant drain on resources.

Originally known as Broadmoor Criminal Lunatic Asylum, the hospital reflects its own heritage.

At the time that the Broadmoor hospital was constructed, the understanding of mental illness was in an extremely naive and embryonic stage.

Back in 1867, when patients were first admitted to Broadmoor hospital, the main treatment for mental health conditions centred around the fresh air and a calming environment!

Although Broadmoor Hospital represents a series of listed buildings, it is absolutely typical of the Victoria area in which it was constructed.

Consisting of a collection of T-shaped buildings, characterised internally by L and T-shaped corridors, Broadmoor was certainly not the most practical location for a modern mental health facility, and this is reflected in the construction of the new site.

As mental health care has made massive progress in the last few decades, the majority of buildings located at the hospital are no longer fit for purpose, despite their historic curiosity and value.

Thus, despite the fact that many interested in architecture will somewhat regret the decision to redevelop the site, the fact is that it is increasingly unsuitable for the provision of contemporary mental health treatment.

Built within the current hospital estate, the new facility will be made up of five new buildings.

Comprising over 1,350 rooms, the new hospital will contain a variety of state-of-the-art operational equipment and modern technology, including patient information and biometric systems.

Lisa Upton, redevelopment service lead for the project, has involved patients and staff in drawing up the plans for the hospital, in an attempt to ensure that both staff and patients are positive about the new development.

Commenting on the development, Upton stated that “the feedback we received has been incredibly useful. Some of our plans, such as artwork and interior design concepts, are still being considered and it’s essential there’s a variety of opportunities for staff and patients to be involved and fully engaged throughout the process so that we can incorporate their ideas.”

While every effort has been made to maintain the feel of the original Broadmoor hospital, this is also a thoroughly modern development.

The trust has particularly focused on keeping its carbon footprints at a bare minimum during the construction and ultimate operation of the new environment, and it seems certain that the new development will make a massive contribution to mental health treatment in the region.

 
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