Camden and Islington NHS Foundation Trust (C&I) has officially launched a specialist psychiatric intensive care unit for women (WPICU) - the only such unit to offer this service across north central London.
The 11-bed unit will offer 24-hour care and support to women with the most severe psychiatric needs and will cater for service users from across Camden and Islington, as well as Barnet, Enfield and Haringey.
Named Ruby, it will provide tailored, intensive treatment much closer to home, so women no longer have to go out of borough and away from their families and loved ones to get specialist care of this kind.
Based at C&I’s St Pancras Hospital site, the unit, which was completed in just over three months, will offer clinical approaches that are specifically tailored to caring for women with severe mental health conditions.
This will include women service users being much more closely involved in their own care, receiving therapy that meets the particular needs of women. The aim is to support recovery and movement into a less restrictive setting as quickly as possible.
Additional capacity is offered through the innovative Extra Care Area that provides a specialist low stimulus space and is a calming environment for women when they feel stressed, with colour, lighting and music individually tailored to their preference.
Angela McNab, C&I chief executive, said: “Developing a Women’s Psychiatric Intensive Care Unit will enable local women to receive the highest quality, intensive psychiatric care, closer to where they live.”
“It will mean better clinical outcomes, as women will be near their own support networks and we will be able to organise local, follow-up care more easily. It also provides us with an opportunity to develop new ways of supporting and caring for vulnerable women.”
Women service users and Trust staff with specialist experience of caring for severely unwell women have worked together on how the new unit should both look and operate.
Adebisi Ajadi, a Trust service user (pictured right) and member of the advisory Women’s Strategy Group, said: “I hope that the unit will support women in aspiring to come to terms with their illness and then flourish and prosper.”
Thirty Trust staff including psychiatry, psychology, mental health nursing, occupational therapy, activity workers and trainee doctors will provide care 24 hours a day. (Pictured left: members of the ward team with service user, Adebisi Ajadi).
Ruby is the latest addition to the Trust’s existing acute women’s services, which include a women’s treatment ward, a women’s crisis house and expanding peri-natal mental health services.
Amongst guests attending Friday’s launch event were Maria Kane, Barnet, Enfield and Haringey Mental Health Trust chief executive and Jill Britton, Associate Director of Joint Commissioning at Islington Clinical Commissioning Group.
Notes to Editors
Camden and Islington NHS Foundation Trust – Strategic Priorities*
Our three strategic priorities are:
Early and effective intervention
Helping people to live well
Research and innovation
About Camden and Islington NHS Foundation Trust
We provide mental health and substance misuse services to people living in Camden and Islington, and a substance misuse and psychological therapies service to residents in Kingston.
We have two inpatient facilities, at Highgate Mental Health Centre and St Pancras Hospital, as well as community based services throughout the London boroughs of Camden and Islington. Our Trust is also a member of University College London Partners (UCLP), one of the world’s leading academic health science partnerships.
We provide services for adults of working age, adults with learning difficulties, and older people in the London area either in a community or inpatient setting.
Our income for 2016/17 was £138million and we have approximately 2,000 staff. Our staff work in multi-disciplinary teams providing a holistic approach to recovery. This means that we often work with partner agencies and the voluntary sector. Camden and Islington Mental Health and Social Care Trust was established in 2002. In March 2008 we became the first Care Trust to achieve Foundation Trust status and are licensed by NHS Improvement.