Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust"s flagship mental health unit, The Harbour, was officially opened by Alastair Campbell last week.
The 154 bed inpatient mental health unit located just off the M55 in Blackpool was officially opened by Mr Campbell at an event attended by staff, service users and local MPs as well as partner organisations. The Harbour provides the latest in modern mental health care and was designed with service users" privacy and dignity in mind. The site offers services across four main areas; Dementia, Functional Acute and Advanced Care wards as well as two Psychiatric Intensive Care Units (PICUs).
Heather Tierney-Moore, Chief Executive at Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust said:
"We are delighted to have been able to welcome Mr Campbell to officially open The Harbour. The site places an emphasis on the need for both mental and physical health care to be treated side by side. Service users in our care will receive both a therapeutic environment to aid recovery for mental ill-health and also a range of physical health assistance including an on-site gym, dieticians and podiatrists to name but a few.
"We want The Harbour to be used as a beacon for the community and we have partnered with the Richmond Fellowship who run Sparkys cafÃ© which provides a place for members of the community to come, enjoy some refreshments and get involved in various activities and work around reducing stigma. As with any new venture, we have met with some challenges along the way; we will learn from those and continually strive for the very best in mental health care for the people of Lancashire."
Alastair Campbell, author and communicator best known for his role as former Prime Minister Tony Blair"s spokesman, press secretary and director of communications and strategy, said of the day:
"I was delighted to open officially The Harbour, which provides a great example of the innovation and change taking place within mental health care. I am passionate about raising awareness of mental illness and ensuring people are aware of what it really means. We need to move away from the stereotypical portrayal of mental health care and get people talking about the reality. By doing so I hope it will reduce stigma and encourage more people to seek help when needed and in turn help families of those who require inpatient help to understand what happens. We have a long way to go in the fight to reduce stigma around mental health but I am pleased to be able to witness a cause such as this which works towards the change we need for the future."
On Monday 2 November, Alastair Campbell together with Norman Lamb MP, Ruby Wax and Andrew Mitchell MP launched Equality for Mental Health; a cross-party, cross-society campaign aimed at encouraging people to sign up and urge the Government to bring equality to mental health care and increasing investment into the services. There are already a wide range of celebrities, sports personalities, Ministers and members of the public who have signed up to support the campaign. For more information and to join please visit www.equality4mentalhealth.uk.
To find out more information about The Harbour, please visit www.lancashirecare.nhs.uk/TheHarbour