State of the art new PICU opens at Harplands Hospital

 On the 29th October, North Staffordshire Combined Healthcare NHS Trust (NSCHT) opened a new state-of-the-art Psychiatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) facility based at the Harplands Hospital in Stoke-on-Trent. The PICU facility, which comprises six bedrooms, all with en-suite facilities, has been the result of a £2.4m investment by the Trust in a new wing, linked directly onto the adult acute wards at Harplands Hospital.

The unit has been designed to accommodate both male and female patients and includes activity rooms, therapy rooms, a therapy garden and seclusion facilities. The facility will allow the Trust to deliver intensive psychiatric care and ensure that specialist treatment is available quickly for patients and as close to their home as possible. The facility has been designed to accommodate demand from the Stoke-on-Trent and North Staffordshire areas, which will mean patients no longer have to travel significant distances to access this level of psychiatric care.

Jonathan O’Brien, Executive Director of Operations at the Trust and Programme Director for the STP Mental Health Programme said, “This is excellent news for our patients and their families. Having this facility on our doorstep for the first time in Stoke-on-Trent means that patients and their families no longer have to travel significant distances to access this type of care. It is also excellent news for our health economy, commissioners and wider STP. By NSCHT providing this facility, it means that we no longer need to commission expensive placements out of area for patients and can instead ensure investment is spent locally, providing consistent high quality care at a lower cost. This is entirely in line with our STP Mental Health plans for reducing out of area placements and providing care closer to home.”

Prior to the unit opening in October, an entire week of induction activities took place for the new team of 25 staff who will be employed in the unit. The week was packed full of fun and informative ways to learn about the vital role they’ll be playing, with team building activities, a mindfulness practical and even a gym session!

The Trust is now planning its next large scale investment which is also aligned to the STP Mental Health programme priority of Crisis Care. The building work on a new £1.1m Mental Health Crisis Care Centre will begin in January 2019. The centre is being developed to be a hub for Crisis Care services across North Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent and will house the Trust’s Access, Crisis Resolution & Home Treatment Teams, the Intoxication Observation Unit and an expanded Place of Safety facility for patient undergoing Mental Health Act assessment.