People in waiting room

New London mental health rehab unit to support patient flow issues

Back in the October of last year, Central and North West London NHS Foundation Trust (CNWL) pledged to open up a new rehabilitation unit at its Kingswood Centre in the New Year, and after concerted efforts, the new facility is set to open next week.

The Preston Triage Ward will first and foremost offer intensive rehabilitation support to patients who still suffer from mental health difficulties but no longer need to be in an acute inpatient unit.

The ward will feature eight new beds and will allow staff at CNWL to pilot a new clinical pathway which could speed up patient flow and subsequently take some pressure off A&Es. CNWL say that, if the trial is successful, the approach could then be rolled out to more pathways with hopefully the same end result.

CNWL’s Head of Rehabilitation, Sara Pountney, said: “This Triage Ward means Inpatient Rehabilitation Services can trial a new clinical model to increase flow through inpatient rehabilitation pathway, alleviating pressure on A&Es and stepping down at least 42 patients over the pilot phase.

“The learning approach could be extended to other areas of the pathway and gives us a unique opportunity to concept test these models. Some patients who are medically fit to leave our inpatient settings have to wait one or two weeks to move onto a rehabilitation unit while we wait for a bed to become available.

“This new inpatient rehabilitation triage unit will bridge that gap and offer intensive intervention to them for between six to 12 weeks before they move into a less intensive environment; reducing the length of time they spend in an acute inpatient unit.

“The new unit will also help create more beds for those who need them at a time when admissions are increasing and expected to increase further during the winter.”

Following a patient’s six-to-12-week stay on the ward, they will transferred to therapeutic care for a maximum of 12 weeks after which they could be moved onto supported living or independent living, if they are able.

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NHE May/June 2024

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