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New place of safety arrangements

04 Jan 2016

Following an external review into provision for people detained by the police and delivered into our care under section 136 of the Mental Health Act, we are building a dedicated, stand-alone s136 suite at Lakeside Mental Health Unit to ensure the dignity and safety of all patients.

We are planning to build a suite which will be able to accommodate two people at any one time, male and female, without them having to pass through any general wards.

The build will take a year, so alternative arrangements are being made in the interim. The Kestrel ward suite has been refurbished, with a partition created to separate the men’s suite from the ward and has its own entrance.

Meanwhile we have been working with partners including the local police, approved mental health professionals and emergency duty teams in Ealing and Hounslow to find an appropriate, high quality service for local women.

Together, we have agreed that Wolsey Wing at St Bernard’s in Southall will accept women detained on a Section 136 for both Ealing and Hounslow. Lakeside will take men on behalf of the two boroughs.

Suzanne McMillan, head of in-patient care, said: “We are extremely proud of staff and their responsiveness to people in crisis. We are only one of two mental health services in London that have not turned away anybody in crisis in more than three years. So we are delighted we’re going to be able to improve the environment for people detained under section 136.”

The review highlighted problems with the existing suite in Lakeside which was on the men’s recovery ward, Kestrel, and not separated from it. Also, there is not a dedicated female suite – women wait for assessment in a room on Grosvenor ward, the women’s admission ward.

Key changes in line with Care Quality Commission recommendations

• Wolsey wing will accept all female Section 136s on behalf of Ealing and Hounslow.
• Lakeside will accept all male Section 136s on behalf of Ealing and Hounslow
• All patients detained will be accepted into a dedicated section 136 suite for initial assessment and not directly onto wards.
• An initial face to face assessment by the unit coordinator whilst the detained person is in the vehicle (to ensure that they are conversant to undertake an assessment)
• A maximum capacity in each unit of 3 section 136 admissions at any one time.

The new standards will be implemented from 25 January 2016.