Ruth May, Chief Nursing Officer for England, visits King’s Lynn

9th Jul 2019

On Friday 28 June, Ruth May, Chief Nursing Officer for England, visited King’s Lynn to attend the opening of the new ward at Chatterton House, and take a tour round Goodwins Hall care home.Samphire Ward is a brand new facility which will transform and improve mental healthcare in West Norfolk and was officially opened by Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust (NSFT).

The ward is made up of 16 single en-suite rooms and was created by refurbishing two existing empty wards and building a connecting area between them. It will cater for men and women aged 18 and over with a variety of severe mental health conditions. It also has a purpose-built section 136 suite, where people in a mental health crisis who have come into contact with the police can receive specialist assessment.

Ruth May said: “I’m delighted to be back in King’s Lynn, which has a very special place in my heart. It’s where my daughter, Lucie, was born, and as a former CEO of the Queen Elizabeth Hospital I’m so pleased to see this great development for local mental health services. The ward is going to make a huge difference to people’s experience of treatment at a time when they are feeling most vulnerable, and it’s so important we get this right.”

The plans were developed in consultation with service users, clinicians and NHS West Norfolk Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), working in collaboration with the Norfolk and Waveney Sustainability and Transformation Partnership (STP). The project was made possible following a successful bid for £4m in funding from NHS England.

Sarah Jane Ward, Director of Nursing and Quality Assurance at NHS West Norfolk CCG, said: “We recognise how service users and staff will benefit from receiving and providing care in this modern therapeutic design, and from the bringing together of services in one place.

“The CCG is also working with NSFT and other system partners to provide people with alternatives to attending the emergency department, such as a mental health hub in King’s Lynn provided by West Norfolk Mind.”

During her visit, Ruth was also shown around Goodwins Hall care home by Andy Hudson, Deputy Director of Nursing at NHS West Norfolk CCG to learn about the work the CCG is doing in partnership with the care home around delayed transfers of care.

Ruth spent time meeting members of the care home staff, and hearing how some of them aspire to become trainee nursing associates. She also spoke to some of the residents, who told her how much they value their relationships with the staff, and the facilities the care home offers.