Acute female service opens in Essex offering complete pathway for women

Health / Thu 13th Jun 2024 at 06:22am

A BRAND new service that has opened up at St Andrew’s Healthcare in Wickford on Pound Lane means the hospital is now offering a complete female pathway for women with complex mental health needs.

The latest offering is Maldon, a six bedded ward for acute female patients. The bright, modern environment has private therapy areas including crafts, an information technology room, patient kitchens and a vocational rehabilitation space. There is also fitness suite and large enclosed courtyard and garden.

The Maldon team will provide short periods of rapid assessment, treatment and stabilisation for patients experiencing an acute phase of mental illness. The aim is for the entire multi-disciplinary (MDT) team to work together to develop care plans to help reduce future episodes, including risk reduction and relapse prevention.

Antony Miller, St Andrew’s Healthcare’s Service Director for Essex, said: “Our aim is to support patients to overcome acute phases of mental illness so we can discharge them back to their local community as quickly as possible.

“We’re very excited about this new service as it means as a charity we’re now offering all elements of the female mental health pathway. As well as Maldon, which is an acute ward, St Andrew’s also has a female psychiatric intensive care (PICU) setting, a rehab service for women as well as a female mental health forensic service. We’re now accepting and treating people from any part of that pathway, but the current theme that runs throughout all our services is patients are encouraged to lead their own recovery.”

Patients are given a clear plan on admission and following assessment which includes an estimated date of discharge. The emphasis of care is on short-term assessment and treatment with regular reviews of progress.

The admissions criteria include Women aged between 18 and 65 years old with a mental illness which may include schizophrenia, drug induced psychosis and bi-polar affected disorder. Each person will be individually assessed by St Andrew’s dedicated team, but if their health deteriorates while on Maldon there is the option for patients to be supported within the Women’s Mental Health or Personality Disorder Pathway within the charity.

St Andrew’s Healthcare’s CEO Dr Vivienne McVey said: “We’re thrilled to have opened this new ward which now completes our female pathway offering. Patients on our acute ward are supported by high levels of experienced medical and nursing staff, psychologists, social workers and occupational therapists, who are all working towards finding hope for our patients’ futures.

“Our clinical and MDT teams are experts in treating people with acute mental illness, offering a range of group and individual therapeutic interventions to meet the patients’ needs at different stages of their recovery.”

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