Publish date: 14 October 2022

Upgraded Elizabeth Casson House reopens at Callington Road Hospital featuring new room

An upgraded female Psychiatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) has reopened at Callington Road Hospital, Bristol, following a significant redevelopment programme.

The £2.24 million upgrade of Elizabeth Casson House (ECH) is part of a plan to improve and enhance PICU provision across Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust (AWP), which received £1.35 million of funding from the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC).

The new facilities at ECH include bedrooms with en suite toilets and showers, a visitor room, activity room and occupational therapy garden. The 8-bedded unit includes an enhanced care suite and seclusion suite with their own lounge and outside spaces.

As part of the redevelopment, ECH now also features a new relaxation space called the Sky Room. This new addition was created after funds were raised by family and friends for the Max McGhee Memorial Fund, part of the mental health charity, Headlight. The fund was set up by John, Dawn and Jack McGhee after the death of their son, and brother, Max, in 2017. The fundraising included over £9,000 raised by John McGhee’s employer ForrestBrown, who chose Headlight as their Charity of the Year.

To reflect the McGhee family’s wishes, the Sky Room features a relaxation chair, beanbags, IT equipment for projections and specialist lighting. The new unit also includes artwork that relates to Max’s love of travel with his favourite places on display, including the Grand Canyon and Yosemite National Park.

John McGhee said “we are very grateful to our family and friends and the great team at ForrestBrown for their generous fundraising efforts. The Sky Room is a wonderful addition to the new unit and the overall design means that Max’s love of travel will help contribute to a calming environment.”

Ben Bramley, Ward Manager at ECH, said: “It has been fantastic to see the unit up and running again. All the staff have worked really hard to make sure everything was ready for our first service users and have helped to settle them in. The new facilities give the ward a modern and updated feel and have created an even better working environment for the staff.”

During the redevelopment of ECH, female patients in Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire were relocated to AWP’s PICU ward at Fountain Way Hospital, in Salisbury, which operated a female-only unit.