Arnold Lodge – Providing a Better Environment for Patients
Nottinghamshire Healthcare is celebrating the completion of a seven year programme of refurbishment at Arnold Lodge, its medium secure unit in Leicester, with the final phase of works, Phase 3, being completed in March 2016.
The £4.5m project has seen changes take place within the Male Mental Illness Service, which now has three wards offering modern, purpose built accommodation and facilities which complement the care and treatment provided, whilst complying with national medium secure standards.
The service operates a three stage model of care and has been designed accordingly. Rutland Ward, the acute admission and assessment ward, includes a seclusion suite and intensive care unit for patients who are experiencing severe distress and mental ill-health. The high dependency treatment ward, Foxton, focuses on the management of acute psychotic symptoms, which in some patients will create issues with risk to themselves and others. Therefore, the ward features a seclusion suite, a long term segregation suite with specially designed communication wall.
Thornton Ward accommodates patients in the low dependency treatment and rehabilitation stage and reflects the fact that they may be on the ward for a longer period of time, but are of lower risk.
All of the wards have been designed to:
- Provide well-lit and spacious environments, with bedrooms, day spaces, dining areas, therapy and activity areas and visiting and group rooms.
- Maximise observation with careful consideration for staff, patients and visitor safety, whilst ensuring that privacy and dignity is not compromised.
- Offer access to fresh air through courtyard areas for all patients including those who may be being cared for in the intensive care unit or long term segregation.
Both staff and patients in the service were involved in the refurbishment throughout. Work on the project was undertaken by main contractors Balfour Beatty, led by project manager Steve Sorrell and main architects IBI Nightingale. Project Manager Andy White and Project Manager at Arnold Lodge, Sarah Johnson, have also been praised for their work on site.
The service is underpinned by the principles of Recovery; patients are provided with a wide range of opportunities and experiences to develop and maintain their skills. The multi-professional staff teams work in partnership with patients, their family, friends and carers to deliver a high quality service that centres on the promotion of independence, responsibility and an improved quality of life.
Patients have access to a range of therapeutic treatment programmes and additionally creative activities, horticulture, community rehabilitation programmes and the opportunity to gain educational and vocational skills and qualifications. The aim is to maximise patients’ chances of successful discharge from Arnold Lodge to an appropriate onward placement whist minimising any potential risks.
Ruth Hawkins, Chief Executive of the Trust said: “It is great to see the end result of this programme of change; it really has made a huge difference to the environment and will enable us to deliver the best possible care to patients. I want to thank the staff who are so passionate about the work that they do at Arnold Lodge, but also the patients in the Male Mental Illness Service who have offered their valued input, but also put up with the upheaval of building works going on around them. This is a great facility and we should all be very proud of it.”
Ann Clayton, Business Manager of Capital Planning said: “We have had wonderful feedback from carers, patients and staff who have said the improvements have made a huge difference. The patients are saying that it is nice, airy and bright and much warmer than the old ward; it is splendid with a nice atmosphere. Carers have commented that it feels homely with much more space and flexibility all around. All in all we are really pleased with it.”
Arnold Lodge is part of Nottinghamshire Healthcare’s Forensic Services Division and provides care and treatment as part of a much larger network of services for mentally disordered offenders. It has 102 beds and provides inpatient, medium secure services for adults ages 18 and above. These individuals cannot be managed by general mental health or low secure services due to the seriousness of their index, level of behavioural disturbance and potential for ascension or escape.
Richard Brown, Associate Director of Capital Projects & Property commented: “Our aim was to provide patients with an environment in which they can flourish. Their recovery in that space is really positive and it also enables the clinical team to thrive and do what they do best; it only works if everybody plays their part. Over the last few years we have either replaced or redeveloped 562 beds across the Trust at a cost of around £190 million; ultimately an investment in giving patients that ‘leg-up’ in their recovery.”
Ann concluded: “It is fantastic to work with clinicians who get to know what their patient group need and without exception, at every opening event or collection of feedback there are always lovely stories from the patients about how much of a difference this has made and that is priceless.”