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Mental Health Decision Unit

Posted on the 20th November 2017

Support for people in the Blackpool area who are living with mental health difficulties will be improved following the development of a Mental Health Decision Unit in the area.


Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust is opening a brand new mental health service at Blackpool Victoria Hospital that will support people’s mental health needs. The Mental Health Decision Unit is a partnership between the Trust and mental health charity, Richmond Fellowship, with support from colleagues in the A&E department at Blackpool Victoria Hospital.  


The facility is located alongside the acute hospital’s A&E department and will support up to four people at a time. The unit will provide a short term safe therapeutic environment where people in crisis can be assessed and then referred on to the appropriate service, or be discharged into the community. The unit will be accessible for people 24 hours a day and will provide an alternative pathway for people requiring urgent mental health on-going assessment and suffering with mental health difficulties in crisis. Staff will support people to develop coping strategies to help manage their mental health in the future.


The unit supports people over 18 years of age and is not an inpatient unit with people spending between 4-23 hours stay for people who are not emotionally stable or too unwell to return to their usual place of residence for a short term period.   


Lisa Moorhouse, Head of Operations at Lancashire Care NHS Foundation said:


We are really excited to be opening a brand new Mental Health Decision Unit in this locality. The demand on mental health services across Lancashire is growing and over the past 18 months we have been working extremely hard to deliver a number of new mental health services across the county.


“The unit has been designed to provide an alternative pathway for those experiencing a mental health crisis who present at A&E. By providing a safe environment and trained staff with significant experience of supporting people with mental health issues, we hope to reduce the need for people to experience further crisis and end up in a hospital bed, which should always be a last resort.  The Trust already provides similar services in East Lancashire and Central Lancashire which have already proved a great success in supporting people’s mental health as an alternative to hospital admission.”


Joe Redmond, Managing Director of Richmond Fellowship (North), said:

“We’re delighted to be working alongside the NHS to provide effective support to people experiencing a mental health crisis.


“Richmond Fellowship already provides a range of support to people across Lancashire living with mental ill health and this new service will enable us to reach out to even more people and provide them with the support they need.”


The Mental Health Decision Unit is due to open before Christmas. Referrals in to the unit are made via the A&E department Mental Health Liaison team.