Mental health unit in Grantham temporarily closed to support pandemic response

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Published on: 17th February 2021

To ensure services are staffed safely during the pandemic and prevent patients travelling out of Lincolnshire for their care, Lincolnshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust has taken the difficult decision to temporarily close its rehabilitation unit in Grantham, Ashley House.

Ashley House is a 15 bed mixed gender inpatient unit which provides open rehabilitation services for people with long term mental health problems.

Chris Higgins, Director of Operations at LPFT said: “As we continue to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic and the pressures on our teams, we have to make sure that our staff are deployed in the best way to meet the needs of patients.  We work hard to make sure our services are safe at all times and that our staffing levels are right. 

“We have taken the decision to temporarily close Ashley House as part of a contingency plan, to make sure that we have sufficient staff for our acute and crisis inpatient services, to continue to deliver critical urgent mental health care."

As well as supporting staffing on the Trust’s other rehabilitation and acute mental health wards, this temporary change will also allow the Trust to move staff to support the opening of Ash Villa, a new adult acute treatment ward in Greylees near Sleaford.

Ash Villa is a 15 bed female acute ward being opened to help bring patients who are currently cared for out of Lincolnshire, closer to home for their care. The unit will complement the Trust’s existing adult acute inpatient wards in Lincoln and Boston and support any ongoing treatment once assessment has taken place.

Chris continued: “Over the last two years, more females have been admitted to acute inpatient services than males. The additional service at Ash Villa will provide us with some much needed flexibility to enable us to cease the practice of admitting patients out of the county for acute inpatient care.”

“Recruitment of new staff has been difficult over the last year, particularly for our inpatient services. We need to ensure we use the staff we have in the best way, whilst continuing with our commitment to Lincolnshire patients not travelling out of the area inappropriately for their care.”

Patients being cared for at Ashley House will be supported by the community rehabilitation team, or in an alternative local rehabilitation ward. The Trust will be working with carers and families to maintain regular contact with their loved ones as we have throughout the pandemic.

 This is a temporary measure, which will be reviewed on a monthly basis.

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