Patients and staff moving into new Unity Centre

Date: 12 September 2017

Patient lounge in Walton Ward

We’re opening our new adult acute mental health centre this week at Fieldhead Hospital in Wakefield. The Unity Centre has been purpose-built and will treat patients from across the Trust’s geographical footprint.

The Stanley male adult acute mental health ward and Walton psychiatric intensive care ward are being moved in this week. There is also a new section 136 suite. This marks the end of our first major phase of building works as part of the £17m Fieldhead master plan. Coming in the next 12 months is the main entrance/visitor centre and Nostell ward which is targeted to open in Summer 2018 with the full re-furbishment of Priory to follow for the new fit-for-purpose Chantry ward.

The names of the wards follow a tradition of naming units on the Fieldhead site after local places in Wakefield, joining the likes of the Bretton Centre and Chantry unit. Together the wards will be known as the Unity Centre – a nod towards city centre community venue Unity Works, which hosts courses and events for the Trust’s Wakefield and Five Towns Recovery College and linked charity Creative Minds.

The Unit has several courtyards so that patients can spend time outdoors

All three of the wards are now accredited by the Royal College of Psychiatrists. The Accreditation for Inpatient Mental Health Services (AIMS) recognises high standards of organisation and care. In order to be given an AIMS, teams must meet national requirements from NICE and the Department of Health. Teams must submit evidence of safety and service user care over an extended period of time which also includes visits from both the Royal College and the Care Quality Commission.

Staff and service users have been involved in the design of the new centre, which is modern and relaxing with lots of open spaces and natural light. The building has many innovative features such as unique new observation windows which will also be brought into the wards. The windows, which staff use to look into bedrooms without needing to go inside, will transform into photos of local landmarks such as Chantry Bridge and Nostell Priory at the turn of a key.

Tim Mellard, practice governance coach for the Wakefield acute care pathway, said: “This building is a multi-million pound investment by the trust and highlights our commitment to the local area and providing patients with high quality care. Everyone loves the new centre and we’re really excited about the move. Our service users will benefit from state-of-the-art therapeutic areas, en-suite bathrooms and vastly improved relaxation areas to help them on their journey to recovery.”

The Unity Centre has been built by the Trust’s contractor Interserve. The project has been funded entirely using money from the Trust’s reserves and we are not tied into any maintenance contracts.