FTs collaborate in launch of Mental Health Urgent Assessment Centre

Lancashire and South Cumbria (LSC) NHS FT, has launched a new Mental Health Urgent Assessment Centre (MHUAC), in collaboration with Blackpool Teaching Hospitals (BTH) NHS FT. It has been established as a safe and calm assessment space for patients experiencing urgent mental health needs, with no coronavirus symptoms or physical injuries.

The centre has three purpose-built assessment rooms for patients and their carers. Patients will be assessed and supported by highly trained mental health nurses, consultant psychiatrists, support workers, and trainee nursing associates.  

The enhanced service forms part of the £25m Emergency Village and Critical Care improvement scheme, to enhance and expand emergency and critical care services for the Fylde coast.

Chief Executive of LSC, Caroline Donovan, said: “We really want to make sure that people who are in crisis with their mental health are able to get the help they need immediately.

“We have been working closely with colleagues at Blackpool Victoria Hospital to develop an improved environment for service users and provide a safe space for them to access support.”

Natalie Hudson, Director of Operations for Urgent and Emergency Care at BTH said: “We are delighted to be able to work in partnership with LSC to support this facility for the residents of the Fylde coast.

“The new unit will be instrumental in enabling the trust to give the best care to people attending with a mental health crisis. Our Emergency Department is extremely busy and is not the best environment for someone experiencing a mental health crisis. The new unit will provide a much-improved experience for patients and aid a faster recovery from their crisis situation.”

The MHUAC is one of several centres being created across Lancashire and South Cumbria. It accompanies the unit in operation at the Royal Preston Hospital and Royal Blackburn Teaching Hospital, which will soon be joined by another unit at the Royal Lancaster Infirmary.

There are already a collection of mental health services providing a dedicated facility in the Furness General Hospital, in South Cumbria. It is part of a range of measures the trust introduced to support people with mental health challenges as quickly as possible.

Mark Worthington, Consultant Liaison Psychiatrist and Deputy Chief Medical Officer said: “This is such an important step towards offering improved mental health services and emergency care to the Fylde Coast. The opening of the MHUAC will enable us to not only offer an improved environment for those service users in need, it will allow us to work in close partnership with the Emergency Department in quickly assessing and supporting our service users.”

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