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MP invited to open new mental health ward

26th June 2015
MP invited to open new mental health ward

Kent and Medway NHS and Social Care Partnership Trust invited Gordon Henderson MP to officially open the new, state of the art, Upnor Ward.

Andrew Ling, Chairman of KMPT said: “Upnor is our newest ward and is both exciting and unique in terms of its build and provision. It is an18 bedded ward for adult service users requiring mental health treatment in an acute setting. Upnor is purpose-built and interlinks with existing acute mental health services on the Priority House site in Maidstone.”

The build began in October 2014 and is now complete and already welcoming patients from the Swale area. Previously located in Medway Maritime Hospital, Upnor Ward has been developed to replace Emerald Ward with improved facilities and in a safer environment for both staff and service users.

The timescale of 15 months (check) from initial concept to actual delivery is unheard of for traditional mental health construction projects in the NHS. But with an innovative approach of using a modular construction method, a team of dedicated staff and service users helping move the project forward, it has now come to fruition.

Gordon Henderson MP said: “I was delighted and honoured to be asked to open the new Upnor Ward in Maidstone Hospital and I was disappointed that personal circumstances prevented me from actually taking part in the opening ceremony.

“I would like to thank my colleague, Mike Whiting, for stepping in at the last minute to represent me in opening these fantastic facilities.

“Historically, those of my constituents who needed mental health care in a hospital had to put up with a ward in Medway Maritime Hospital that frankly was simply no longer fit for purposes in the 21st Century.

“I am delighted, therefore, that in future my constituents will receive their treatment in a new, modern mental health ward. KMPT should be really proud of what has been achieved; not least the speed with which Upnor Ward was delivered. Well done to all those involved.”

Before the ward opened to patients, staff who are now working at the new ward visited the site giving them an opportunity to give their feedback on fixtures and fittings before final decisions were made. Visitors were impressed by the anti-ligature features included in the design such as a special strip on the top of the door which triggers an alarm if it is pushed down. The accommodation incorporates a bathroom with an anti-ligature shower head and water controlled in both the shower and basin by sensors. Positive comments were also made about the window which can be opened without allowing anything to be passed in or out.

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