No appointments needed at new million-pound medical hub in city

Pete Boczko and Louise Jordan-Hall pictured at the new Rest hub in Norwich

Pete Boczko, chief executive, and Louise Jordan-Hall, chairwoman of the Board of Trustees at Norfolk and Waveney Mind pictured at the new Rest hub - Credit: James Norman Photography

In excess of £1million has been pumped into a new medical hub in a bid to take the pressure off the city's emergency services.

Norfolk and Waveney Mind, a mental health charity, put forward the cash to create the hub named REST at Churchman House, in Bethel Street.

The facility, which opened earlier this month, will provide free mental health services to patients without an appointment.

It is a collaborative project between Mind, Norwich City Council and the NHS Norfolk and Waveney Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG).

The Café area for the Churchman House venue, where anyone can come in and have a hot drink and relax.

The café area for the Churchman House venue, where anyone can come in and have a hot drink and relax. - Credit: James Norman Photography

Pete Boczko, chief executive at Mind, explained: "The emergency services are struggling at the moment and we want to avoid people going to hospital if necessary.

"If people are in a distressed state the police or ambulance services can bring the patient here. 

The reception area to Churchman House where people can come in either for specific support or just to come in.

The reception area to Churchman House where people can come in for specific support but that anyone can come in for their services. - Credit: James Norman Photography

"Our crisis team will hold clinical responsibility and we will work with the patients to try and relive the pressure."

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He added: "This will hopefully take some of the pressure off A&E and make beds are free for patients who need them immediately."

At the opening Mr Boczko was joined by Louise Jordan-Hall, chairwoman of the Board of Trustees at the charity. 

She said: "It's about providing mental health services in a different way to what we have before."

The new site is Churchman House located in Bethel Street

The new site is Churchman House located in Bethel Street. - Credit: James Norman Photography

Mr Boczko added: "It's been a long journey but we've had so much support from lots of partners and it was all worth it in the end."

The Grade I listed building has had a lot of work done to make sure it is now fit for purpose.

Mr Boczko added: "While people may think we just deal with mental health victims we are trying to get all services and skills centralised into one hub."

As such the hub also features specific 1:1 rooms and advice for families.

Pete Boczko, CEO, and Louise Jordan-Hall, Chair of the Board of Trustees at Norfolk and Waveney Mind Charity.

Pete Boczko, chief executive, and Louise Jordan-Hall, chairwoman of the board of trustees at Norfolk and Waveney Mind Charity have fronted the project since it began. - Credit: James Norman Photography

Cath Byford, chief nurse at the CCG, said: "The hub will provide the people of Norwich a safe place to access mental health support without needing an appointment.

“Across the region we continue to invest in mental health services which are people centred and break down access barriers so more people can get help and support closer to home.”