SUFFERING from a mental illness can be distressing enough, but being put in a dull and depressing environment can only make things worse.
That is why the wards at Millbrook Mental Health Unit have been undergoing refurbishment, creating a much-improved facility that will help staff deliver a better standard of care and help patients on the road to recovery.
The adult mental health wards and wards for older people have recently been revamped, and a new suite for people detained by the police under the Mental Health Act has been opened.
Patient Jodie Spain (20), has been on the Lucy Wade ward for two months and said that the facilities are ‘good’.
The bedrooms on this acute ward have ensuites so that patients can have the privacy and dignity that they need.
Said Jodie: “It’s quite nice and quiet. It’s nice to have my own space, to be able to go to your own room and sit.”
Natalie Van Ham, a charge nurse on the Orchid ward, said that she had seen a ‘dramatic’ improvement in the ward following the refurbishment.
“Each dorm has its own shower and toilet, which they never had before,” she said.
Orchid now has a much more pleasant communal space with a lounge, table and a kitchen area for patients to use.
One of the wards inpatients, Vera (64), who has been at Millbrook for eight months, said that the ward had improved 50-fold compared to what they had had before.
Another patient, 35-year-old Jason said: “I think it’s a lot nicer. It’s more comfortable, more homely. It’s aiding my recovery.”
The two wards for older people, Kingsley and Amber wards, one of which has moved from Ashfield Health Village, have really benefited from the improvement works.
They are light and airy with colourful wall art decorating the corridors and several comfortable but modern lounge areas where the patients can sit and socialise.
Veronica Smith, inpatient service manager, said: “The relatives have been saying how nice it is. It’s much better. They have lots more seating areas and peole can have their own space.”
Craig, a staff nurse on Kingsley, said that the patient improvement in the new environment had been ‘remarkable’.
The number of beds at Millbrook has been reduced due to a focus on providing more suitable care in the community, but there are now five intensive care beds for the first time. Operations manager Jo Horsley said: “People did have to go out the local area away from families and community support teams which made the length of their stay longer. This has significantly reduced their stay.