Dormitory accommodation in mental health facilities in the UK is set to become a thing of the past in the next four years, following a new £400m funding package committed by the Government to eradicate their use.
Announced on World Mental Health Day, the Government pledge builds on the £250m funding announced back in July to remove outdated dormitories from UK facilities, as part of record investment into NHS infrastructure.
The new funding will help complete efforts to replace the dormitories with single en-suite rooms, improving the safety, privacy and dignity of patients suffering with mental illness.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock also announced the first 21 NHS trusts which are set to receive their share of the funding to replace their outdated facilities, improving the quality of care for mental health inpatients across the country.
Eradicating dormitories is expected to improve the individual care that can be given to patients, allowing them to reduce the length of their stay in the facility. It will also have benefits for patient safety, including better infection control and a reduction in the risk of incidents involving patients or staff.
This new funding delivers on the government’s commitment to accelerate investment in health infrastructure, and to level up access to mental health services, so that every inpatient can receive treatment in an appropriate setting.
Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock said: “Mental health staff have worked tirelessly throughout the pandemic to keep mental health services open 24/7 so those most in need can continue to get vital support.
“Today I am reiterating our commitment to those patients by stepping up our effort to improve our country’s mental health infrastructure. By eradicating outdated and unsuitable dormitories across England we can ensure those suffering with mental illness are given the safety, privacy and dignity they deserve.
“Not only will the new single rooms improve the individual care we can offer patients, they will provide a better environment for our hardworking staff too.”
NHS England’s National Mental Health Director Claire Murdoch added: “Millions of mental health patients are seen by the NHS every year, many thousands as inpatients, and each and every one of them should receive care in wards that are therapeutic and support their recovery, which is why this funding will be so vital.
“And the NHS is also investing in local mental health teams to provide alternatives to ward admission which will help more than 2 million patients get care closer to home.”
View the full list of initial projects to have been awarded the funding here: