04 November 2020

Specialist dementia unit to be upgraded

Patients needing specialist dementia mental health care in Bath and North East Somerset are set to be treated and cared for in new high quality accommodation, following a government cash injection to overhaul outdated dormitory-style facilities.

Nearly £3 million is to be invested in upgrading facilities at Hill View Lodge, the mental health inpatient unit run by Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership (AWP) NHS Trust, which is based on the Royal United Hospital site in Bath.

By updating the facilities at Hill View Lodge, AWP will be able to relocate Ward 4, its 12-bedded specialist dementia unit, which is currently located at nearby St Martin's Hospital in Bath, less than four miles away.

Ward 4 is the Trust's only remaining dormitory-style ward and due to the age of the building and its existing layout is not suitable to be reconfigured to comply with the 'Delivering Single Sex Accommodation' regulatory requirements.

Mathew Page, Chief Operating Officer for AWP, said: "The announcement of this funding is very welcome and will ensure our patients can be cared for in high quality accommodation more suited to the needs of those with dementia. For some time now we have been considering our options regarding the future of Ward 4 as we recognise that providing care in dormitory style accommodation is not ideal. This funding and the relocation of the ward will enable us to improve the privacy and safety of patients, who will be treated in a fully compliant 12-bedded ward fit for the future."

The funding has been announced as part of the Government's £400 million commitment over the next four years to eradicate dormitory style accommodation from mental health facilities across the country to improve the safety, privacy and dignity of patients with mental health difficulties.

Once the move is complete it means the Trust will have no dormitory style accommodation in any of its mental health inpatient facilities.  

Lucy Baker, Director of Transformational Programmes, Bath and North East Somerset, Swindon and Wiltshire CCG, said: "It's fantastic news that our region's mental health provider has been awarded this much-needed funding, which will enable all of our local mental health accommodation to be brought into the 21st century.

"The refurbished facilities at Hill View Lodge will be a considerable step up from what is available at Ward 4 in St Martin's Hospital, and will ensure patients have access to their own private room and adjoining bathroom. It's a truly exciting project that will make a real difference to patients, and we look forward to supporting AWP in making these changes a reality."

Work to transform part of the Hill View Lodge site and the relocation of Ward 4 is expected to get underway in January, with the relocation of patients planned for June 2021.


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