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Modernising acute care services in South Devon

Posted on 1st November, 2005

Devon Partnership NHS Trust is developing plans to provide a more integrated service for adults in South Devon who need acute mental health care. Managers have been working closely with service users, carers, staff, staffside representatives and other stakeholders to design a more ‘joined-up’ acute care service that ensures closer working between the Trust’s strengthened community-based teams and its inpatient units. Locality Operations Manager for Torbay, Shawn Tait, explains:  “We are in the process of developing a more integrated approach to providing acute mental health care services for South Devon.  Our aim is to ensure that referrals, assessments, treatment within the community and admissions to inpatient units all take place within one clear, coordinated system of care.  We need to be sure that we are providing people with the right type of care, in the right place and at the right time.” An important step in the modernisation process is this week’s opening of Oak Ward in the Haytor Unit, on the Torbay Hospital site.  Oak Ward, which is opening after a ten-month suspension of the service that was previously provided by the Riverside Unit, has undergone a major £90k refurbishment. Commenting on the opening of Oak Ward, Modern Matron, Linda Moore, said:  “We have done a great deal of hard work since the service was suspended last December and, I believe, gone a long way towards addressing the issues that were causing us concern at that time.  We are continuing to work collaboratively with staff, staffside representatives, service users and carers on all matters concerning the service and their input has been invaluable. “The ward has undergone a major facelift and we are delighted with the results.  It will provide a safer and more therapeutic environment for our service users, as well as a much better working environment for our staff.  Over recent months, our staff have been working at other units across Devon and deserve a tremendous vote of thanks for their commitment and willingness to be flexible about their working arrangements.  They have undergone some team development and intensive training in preparation for the opening of the ward and we are all very much looking forward to getting it up and running this week.” The Haytor Unit now has a single Reception area and, with Oak Ward’s ten beds, has a total of 27 beds.  In due course, it will also have two enhanced care beds.  It will continue to provide acute inpatient care for adult men and women. Generally, it will be used by people who need a short spell of care in hospital to help support their recovery. The improvements to Oak Ward include:

  • a lounge area for family and children
  • a dedicated lounge area for female service users
  • two multi-purpose care review rooms
  • two refurbished high dependency/enhanced care rooms
  • a refurbished ‘low stimulus’ room
  • enhanced observation from the nursing station.
As part of the preparation for Torbay Hospital’s exciting redevelopment programme, it is hoped that the acute inpatient service will be relocated to a brand new, purpose-built facility on a different part of the hospital site.  Outline planning permission has already been obtained and, if the project goes ahead, work on the £12m development should start at the end of next year and be completed by the end of 2007.

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