Take a look inside Wearside's new ward for mental health patients

A new £4.6million ward caring for older people with mental health problems across Wearside and South Tyneside will its doors to patients next week.

The 18-bed Cleadon Ward at Monkwearmouth Hospital will provide treatment and assessment for older people who have conditions such as anxiety, depression and psychosis.

The ward is the latest project by Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust- one of the country’s largest mental health and learning disability trusts- and is equipped with specialist features to ensure patients feel at ease with their new surroundings.

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Today, (FRI) members of the public and representatives from local groups were able to have a look around the new ward ahead of residents moving in on November 2.

Clinical nurse manager for older people’s inpatient mental health services, Rob Bailey, said he was delighted with the facility, which has been adapted from what was formerly Old Mill Cottage.
He said: “This ward has been designed for older people with a mental illness other than dementia, such as anxiety, depression or psychosis.

“Many of the older people we care for have experienced loss - whether that’s the death of a loved one, the loss of a job, or their independence - something that can trigger mental health problems later in life.

“And because older people can also have significant physical health needs, it’s great that we now have somewhere purpose-built that can accommodate both these factors.

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“The opening of the Cleadon Ward is the final piece in the jigsaw across the region, where there has been significant provision with working-age adult services and dementia services.

“The ward will see us try to meet the needs of older people with mental health issues who have reached a crisis point where they need to come to hospital.”

The centre replaces the 18-bed ward Rosewood Ward in Hopewood Park. It will work alongside the dementia unit of Mowbray and Roker Ward, the challenging behaviour unit of Marsden and the Grange Day Unit which is already on the Monkwearmouth Hospital site, to form a specialist Older Person Centre.

Features of the new facility include individual bedrooms that have a direct line of sight to en-suite bathrooms, so patients feel at ease with their new surroundings and easy access to other resources in Monkwearmouth Hospital, such as the events room, a hairdressing salon and activity kitchen.

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There is also an enclosed courtyard and wider corridors with anti-ligature handrails to ensure patient safety.

One patient at the facility said: “This has been a long-time coming and it’s well worth the money as it really helps people get better, having lovely surroundings like this.”

Mr Bailey added: “Around the ward we’ve alluded to sights from around the south of the Tyne - from South Shields to Roker Lighthouse and Ryhope - so we believe the Cleadon ward will be a really comfortable place for people to get better in.

“Both the patients and the staff are really excited about moving in.

“It’s a very specialised yet welcoming place, and this shows NTW’s dedication to providing the best possible care for anyone who needs us.”