New area for patients facing mental health crisis at Wigan Infirmary
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The Makerfield Suite is a purpose-built mental health assessment area, which will provide a calm and comfortable environment in the A&E department.
It opens on Monday, July 31 and will be staffed by mental health professionals, who will complete assessments and signpost people to the most appropriate treatment or service.
The new area is being run by Greater Manchester Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust (GMMH) and has been developed with Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (WWL), along with people with experience of mental health difficulties and their carers.
An opening event has been held, which was attended by Wigan MP Lisa Nandy, staff who will work in the suite and members of the executive management teams at both NHS trusts.
Damian McAuley, service manager for Wigan urgent care and inpatient services at GMMH, said: “We are absolutely delighted to be launching the Makerfield Suite for the people of Wigan and Leigh. This dedicated area will provide a safe space for people experiencing a mental health crisis, who may otherwise find the busy emergency department distressing.
“It was so important to us to listen to and work with those who have lived experience of accessing mental health crisis care, to make sure this area will be suitable for anyone who needs support. We are so thankful to all our fantastic Wigan and Leigh service users who took the time to share their experiences and work with us, alongside our WWL colleagues, to co-create something we are really proud of.”
Rebecca McCarren, divisional director of nursing and allied health professionals at WWL, said: “I am so pleased and proud to see the launch of the Makerfield Suite at the Royal Albert Edward Infirmary. The integration of mental health and physical health care services is key to patients living with mental health conditions to achieve parity.
“To have this service co-located within our emergency department at WWL is fantastic and will ensure that the people of Wigan and Leigh have access to a dedicated safe space during times of mental health crisis.
“Through this service our staff will continue to work collaboratively and side by side with GMMH to ensure that patients attending our emergency department receive the right mental health care at the right time.”
Ms Nandy said: “It was a real privilege to launch the Makerfield Suite and to join the wonderful staff who will be working there.
“Good mental health is so important to all of us, and it is particularly good that this space has been developed in collaboration with people who have experienced mental health difficulties, so that it can best support those who may need it in future.
“The last few difficult years have been another reminder of how much we owe the amazing staff who work in our health service and look after us and our families in times of need, and it is fantastic for our town to now have a dedicated place where people who need support with their mental health can go for expert care.”