More than £400 million has been announced to replace dormitory accommodation with single en-suite rooms at mental health facilities across the country over the next four years. The scheme will improve the safety, privacy and dignity of patients suffering with mental illness.
The initiative was announced on Saturday, to mark World Mental Health Day. Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock also announced the first 21 NHS Trusts* that will receive funding. An additional £2 million was announced for six research projects focusing on the effects of COVID-19 on mental health and the wellbeing of three at-risk groups: healthcare workers, children and young people, and those with serious mental health problems.
The eradication of dormitories will 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 bring benefits for patient safety, including through better infection control and by reducing the risk of incidents involving patients or staff.
Minister for Mental Health and Suicide Prevention, Nadine Dorries says: “The last few months have been challenging for everyone, particularly those with pre-existing mental health conditions.
“Every person receiving treatment in a mental health facility deserves to be treated with dignity, respect and privacy, in an appropriate setting. I am delighted that today’s investment in mental health infrastructure will ensure that inpatients throughout the country can receive the best quality care.”
It is hoped that the necessary investment in other areas of the mental health estate will follow in the upcoming spending review.
The government says its commitment to transforming and improving mental health services is set to continue, as the Department for Health and Social Care has pledged to invest £2.3 billion in mental health by 2023 to 2024 as part of the NHS Long Term Plan.
The first 21 Trusts are:
Alder Hey Children’s NHS Foundation Trust
Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust
Barnet Enfield and Haringey MH Trust
Berkshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust
Central & North West London Foundation Trust
Cumbria, Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust
Devon Partnership NHS Trust
Essex Partnership University NHS Trust
Gateshead Health NHS Foundation Trust
Greater Manchester Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust
Kent and Medway Partnership Trust
Lancashire and South Cumbria NHS Foundation Trust
Leicestershire Partnership Trust
Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust
Pennine Care NHS Foundation Trust
South West London & St George’s Hospital Mental Health Trust
Southern Health NHS Foundation. Trust
Sussex Partnership Trust
TAH – Sheffield Health & Social Care NHS Foundation Trust
Worcestershire Health and Care NHS Trust