New coronvairus ward for Leeds mental health unit to keep city's vulnerable safe

A ward for people with mental health problems in Leeds has been revamped to help keep some of the city’s most vulnerable people safe during the coronavirus pandemic.

Monday, 25th May 2020, 5:00 pm

'The Annexe' at The Becklin Centre is the latest development in Leeds and York Partnership NHS Foundation Trust’s response to tackling the pandemic.

The 10 bed ward is being used to care for people with acute mental health problems who have tested positive for coronavirus on admission to the mental health unit.

It is staffed by a team of mental health nurses, doctors, allied health professionals and support workers.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Staff outside the revamped ward with a 'ribbon' to mark its opening.

The Annexe is part of a larger ward, used to care for people suffering with acute mental health problems.

By creating a separate unit within the ward for coronavirus patients, and continuing to follow best practice around infection control, the trust hopes to reduce the risk of transmission and

keep people safe during their stay.

Patients in The Annexe will continue receiving the care and treatment they need for their mental health.

As well as private bedrooms, The Annexe has a living and dining area and communal space in corridors, to enable patients to move around and socialise, which is beneficial for their

mental wellbeing.

The unit also has an enhanced observation area where patients can receive closer nursing care if their physical health deteriorates whilst they are suffering from the effects of the virus.

There’s also a staff area next to The Annexe. This includes a staff room, changing area and PPE donning space, to ensure best practice is followed in relation to infection prevention control.

Alexandra Foster, ward manager, said “I’m so proud of the hard work and determination shown by all our staff to make this unit possible.

"The nature of acute nursing means our staff are well practised at responding to challenges in a dynamic and proactive way and this unit proves that.”

“The safety of our service users is our priority, and I thank everyone involved for embracing the changes we’ve made.”