£4.4m refurb starts on mental health ward

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A £4.4million upgrade to Wedgwood House in Bury St Edmunds will provide improved care for older mental health patients during their stay at the Westgate Ward.

The ward is part of Suffolk Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust mental health services for older people and the improvements will include en-suite facilities for all 17 beds, separation of men and women and a specific area for dementia assessment. There will also be landscaping in the gardens to create appropriate calm areas for patients.

The project will be carried out from September over a 12-month period and the first phase will be to transform the 10 in-patient beds followed by the seven-bed dementia assessment unit.

All patients have been transferred into unused offices which have been provided with similar facilities and new equipment including low level beds to prevent falls. This is part of an overall modernisation programme for services at the trust.

Helen Jackson, ward manager, said: “The changes that are being made are vital to creating a needs-led environment. New features such as en-suite bathrooms for all 17 bedrooms will allow us to provide diginity and improved quality of care for patients during their stay.”

Julie Todd, modernisation project lead, said the work would bring Westgate Ward up to the standards of mental health facilities in Ipswich.