Local MP and Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls has visited Fieldhead in Wakefield to find out more about services provided by the local NHS Trust and tour a new activity centre.
Fieldhead is run by South West Yorkshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, and is the Trust’s largest site. The Trust provides a wide range of services at Fieldhead, including specialist mental health inpatient and assessment services, therapy and psychology services, learning disability assessment and treatment, as well as low and medium secure forensic services.
As part of his visit Ed Balls toured a new forensic activity centre with Trust chief executive Steven Michael and Dr Adrian Berry, forensic services director.
The recently opened activity centre marks the first phase of a £12million redevelopment of Newton Lodge (The Yorkshire Centre for Forensic Psychiatry).
The new 1500 metres squared centre includes a full sized sports hall, workshop, art studio, therapy kitchen, music room and other spaces designed for therapeutic activity for people receiving care at the unit. It also includes a dedicated primary care treatment suite.
The MP also took time to discuss current Trust initiatives with staff and people who use Trust service, including the use of creative activities to support improved health.
Speaking about his visit Morley and Outwood MP, Ed Balls said, "It was great to see the Fieldhead facilities first hand and to hear about the impact the services are having working with people across the region. Keeping busy and active is a key part of the Trust’s regime. Their new sports facilities were being put to good use in a five aside match when I visited and I got a game of bowling out in the sunshine with a group of patients too.
"The service users group, Creative Minds, I met were passionate about the difference that can be made by listening to and acting on the experiences of those who’ve used mental health services. They’re trying out new approaches to health services, from film making and dance to archery and Nordic walking. I’m looking forward to meeting them again to hear about the progress they’re making."
Steven Michael, Chief Executive of South West Yorkshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust said, “We were delighted to have Ed Balls come and visit the Trust to find out more about the services we provide and to see our latest development at Newton Lodge. A lot of changes have been made since he last visited us in 2008, but our mission of enabling people to live life to the full remains central to everything we do. We hope he found the visit a valuable experience particularly talking to people who use our services and their carers.”
More information about the Trust can be found at www.southwestyorkshire.nhs.uk