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Community and mental health services for Southampton, Portsmouth and parts of Hampshire and the Isle of Wight.


Modernised psychiatric intensive care facilities unveiled in Portsmouth

An ambitious improvement scheme has transformed psychiatric intensive care facilities for people living in Portsmouth.

Costing over £2.5m, the extension, alteration and refurbishment by Solent NHS Trust has brought accommodation at Maples Ward on the St James’ Hospital site fully up to date.

With ten en-suite single bedrooms, the unit provides a specialist therapeutic environment for the care and treatment of adults experiencing a crisis through severe mental illness.

The new-look unit is equipped with two state-of-the-art rooms where patients can be individually observed and supported by staff while in safe surroundings.

There is a quiet area, which patients can enter as needed, providing a calm and relaxing environment, supporting patients in their recovery. This is in addition to more spacious lounge accommodation where patients can relax and socialise.

Maples features two lounge spaces, a separate lounge for female patients, a clinic room, treatment room, family room, kitchen, dining room and activity room. Next door is a “Health Based Place of Safety” where patients can be assessed by a doctor in a safe environment.

The design of the building has focused on ensuring it is a safe and comfortable environment with rounded edges to prevent patient harm.

Soft shades of blue, green and purple, among others, have been used to support relaxation and create a feeling of calm.

Bright, airy corridors and walls have been decorated with uplifting images of local scenes such as beach huts and views of Old Portsmouth, and many of the bedrooms have garden views.

The project, which began in April 2021, has also resulted in improved facilities for the multi-disciplinary team based at the unit, who have more office space, a staff room and meeting room.

Better ventilation has been installed to benefit patients and staff alike, while latest door-lock technology and alarm systems have made Maples a safer environment for both patients and staff.

The design team worked closely with Maples Ward staff on every aspect of the project as it progressed, with service users also having an input into decisions.

Outside there is a new Multi-Use Games Area (MUGA) which provides the perfect place for patients to enjoy the physical and mental health benefits of exercising outdoors as part of their road to recovery.

The all-weather pitch was generously funded through a £50k donation from NHS Charities Together, with money raised in part by Captain Sir Tom Moore in support of NHS staff, volunteers and patients during the covid pandemic.

Mark Young, Associate Director of Estates Transformation at Solent NHS Trust, said: “This has been a major investment in our mental health facilities for people in the Portsmouth area.

“The new and improved floorplan makes far better use of the available space, and the modernised accommodation will make a real difference to patients needing care at a difficult point in their lives.

“By providing a positive, therapeutic environment, we are giving the best possible support to patients and our clinical teams, who work in intense and often stressful circumstances.”

Lorraine Davis, Clinical Matron at Solent NHS Trust, said: “Our patients need an enhanced level of care in a supportive, safe and secure environment for a short period of time.

“Comfortable surroundings which are as homely as possible can make things feel less clinical and daunting for patients and their families, relieving a bit of the pressure and allowing our team to deliver the high-quality specialist care needed.”

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