New unit at Maidstone will care for people over 65 with severe mental illness

Maidstone is acquiring a new purpose-built mental health facility to serve seniors across the region.

Kent and Midway NHS and Social Care Partnership Trust (KMPT) have been awarded £12.65 million in funding for the project as part of a national campaign to eliminate sleeping wards in inpatient mental health facilities.

An artist’s impression of the new unit

The Kent and Midway Clinical Group said the investment will ensure that residents of Kent and Midway have access to the highest standards of inpatient mental health care, should they need it.

The decision follows a seven-week public consultation about plans to move the dormitory’s last mental health ward, known as Robbie Ward, from its current home at Midway Naval Hospital to a new unit in Maidstone.

Ruby Ward currently cares for those 65 and older who have complex mental illnesses, such as major depression, schizophrenia or bipolar disorder.

The lack of space means that Ruby Ward can only care for female patients, and it also makes it difficult to provide a full range of therapeutic activities. welcome visitors, or enable easy access to outdoor spaces.

The new unit will be built at the Hermitage Lane site in Maidstone, along with other inpatient mental health care services.

What will a room look like in the new facility
What will a room look like in the new facility

The new building will include individual indoor rooms, space for group counseling and therapy, creative activities, and access to specially designed garden areas.

Dedicated indoor and outdoor areas for patients and visitors will feature in the new design as well as facilities to help people relearn basic skills such as cooking and cleaning. The improved environment will help patients recover faster and go home faster.

Dr Naveen Komta from CCG said: “Today’s decision marks the end of old-fashioned dormitories in Kent.

“We all share the belief that the privacy, dignity and safety of anyone requiring admission to a mental health ward is paramount.

“Investing in our health infrastructure and making sure people are treated in an appropriate environment that supports their recovery are central to our ambition to improve mental health care. Building Ruby Ward will help us achieve that.”

Construction begins next spring with the building fully operational by 2023.

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