£60,000 to be spent repairing 'significant damage' at psychiatric unit

Hellesdon Hospital. Picture: BILL SMITH/ARCHANT ARCHIVE

Hellesdon Hospital. Picture: BILL SMITH/ARCHANT ARCHIVE - Credit: Archant © 2012

Safety work and refurbishments to remedy "significant damage" at a psychiatric intensive care unit in Norfolk will cost £60,000. 

Rollesby ward, a Psychiatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) at Hellesdon Hospital near Norwich, offers assessment and treatment for people detained under the Mental Health Act and will be shut for eight weeks while work is carried out.

The Norfolk and Suffolk Foundation Trust (NSFT) clarified the ward is currently closed to admissions, though a number of patients are still receiving treatment there.

Work will begin following the final patients' discharge and is estimated to cost around £60,000. 

Stuart Richardson, chief operating officer, told a board meeting on Thursday work would include replacing doorways and installing a new CCTV system and fire alarm.  

He said: "That refurbishment is really about addressing some significant damage that has happened over the last two to three months.” 

The cause of the damage has not been made clear.

Questions to the board around bed occupancy, efficient staffing and impact on patients have been addressed in written form following the meeting.

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A question from a trust governor queried the high level of vacancies filled by bank staff at the ward, saying it was "resulting in a lack of continuity, frequent changes of managers and staff" and "inconsistent messages to patients".

In response, a trust spokesman said: "The staff team have been working very hard and they have our 100pc support in very difficult and challenging situations."

Mr Richardson told the governor no PICU patients were sent out of an area as a result of the temporary closure, but the trust said 49 out of area bed days could be saved a week if all beds in the ward had been fully occupied during the pandemic.

The governor asked what learning the trust would take from the closure, following a temporary closure at Lark PICU, in Ipswich, in 2019.

A spokesman said: "The two situations are very different, but we use every opportunity to learn and to discuss within our clinical teams how we can continually improve."