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A major revamp of the female mental health ward at St Ann’s Hospital, Poole, is now complete – with a new name into the bargain.
The former Dudsbury section of the hospital, run by Dorset HealthCare, has been reborn as the Chine Ward, with extra space and more modern facilities, offering patients greater freedom and privacy.
Work on the £1 million refurbishment project began in August, to provide a much-needed overhaul of the 17-bed unit for women in Dorset with acute, short-term mental health problems.
The renovation required was more extensive than first anticipated – redundant pipes and wiring in the 100-year-old building had to be ripped out, along with asbestos, and the whole wing was extended to create more space.
But the hard work bore dividends as patients returned to the ward to find:
Ward manager Louise Orchard said: “This is a big step forward from what we had. It is a lot brighter, more modern and up-to-date.
“The extra space means patients’ family members can visit in a more private setting, and we can do more group therapy, which women respond to very well.
“And the courtyards provide outdoor space that patients can use without supervision, giving them more freedom.
“Patients also helped to choose the ward’s new name, picking Chine because of the local connotations to the Dorset coast.”
St Ann’s, in Canford Cliffs, provides specialist care for adults with a variety of acute mental illnesses. Staff work to stabilise patients’ health needs and return them home where, with appropriate support, they can recover in familiar surroundings.