Focus Consultants designs new mental health unit

Development will help remove the need for some patients to travel out of Lincolnshire to receive the level of care they require

The entrance to Carholme Court where the new unit will be located

Focus Consultants is playing a key role in a scheme to create Lincolnshire’s first psychiatric intensive care unit (PICU). Work is expected to get underway shortly on the project, which involves transforming existing unused ward space on the St George’s Hospital site in Lincoln into a brand new 10-bed unit to provide intensive support closer to home for those with severe mental health problems.

Focus designed the scheme using Building Information Modelling (BIM) for the county’s mental health and learning disabilities services provider, Lincolnshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust (LPFT). The company, based in Nottingham and with offices in Boston and Aubourn in Lincolnshire, as well as in London and Leicester, is currently appointed as principle designer, designer, quantity surveyor and contract administrator for the development of the male-only unit.

'This is a significant scheme for Lincolnshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust and for those who will be cared for at the unit, being the first psychiatric intensive care unit in the county of Lincolnshire,' said Focus Consultants senior project manager Andy White. 'Focus Consultants is proud to have been appointed to several roles on this development, which is the latest in a number of hospital and healthcare projects that the company has been involved with in Lincolnshire and elsewhere.'

A PICU is a specialist psychiatric inpatient ward for patients with complex mental health needs who require intensive support. The Lincoln development will help remove the need for some patients to travel out of the county in order to receive the level of care required, and is due to become operational and accept patients by next summer.

'We want our patients to remain as close to home as possible during their recovery and the building of a PICU is one step closer to achieving this,' explained Dr John Brewin, Chief Executive for Lincolnshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust. 'We wanted to create a modern, homely, safe environment that will aid recovery and the designs for the new unit meet all of these requirements.'

The unit at Carholme Court will accommodate 10 individual en-suite bedrooms, plus a gymnasium, multi-faith room and lounge area for patients, as well as a secure and safe outdoor space.

The scheme has been designed by Focus to be compliant with guidelines from NAPICU - the national association that is committed to developing and promoting the speciality of psychiatric intensive care and low secure services - and best practice principles in better bedroom initiative for mental health patients.

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