A DEDICATED space for patients experiencing a mental health crisis has been launched at the Emergency Department at the Royal Albert Edward Infirmary in Wigan.

Run by Greater Manchester Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust (GMMH) and developed in partnership with Wrightington, Wigan, and Leigh Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (WWL); the 'Makerfield Suite' is a purpose-built mental health assessment area, providing a calm and comfortable environment for people in a mental health crisis, as part of the Trust’s main Emergency Department.

The area will be staffed by mental health professionals who will be able to complete mental health assessments and signpost people to the most appropriate treatment or service.

This means patients will be able to receive the right mental health care at the right time, whilst reducing demand on the Emergency Department.

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Leigh Journal: Inside the Makerfield Suite at the Royal Edward InfirmaryInside the Makerfield Suite at the Royal Edward Infirmary (Image: GMMH)

The Makerfield Suite held an opening event on Friday, July 14, with Wigan MP Lisa Nandy cutting the suite ribbon alongside NHS staff and managers.

The area was developed collaboratively with people with lived experience of mental health difficulties and their carers, who also attended event.

Planned to operate from Monday, July 31, patients and carers who attended the service in its former location previously said that the team "communicated amazingly" and assisted and supported them effectively.

Damian McAuley, Service Manager – Wigan Urgent Care & Inpatient Services at Greater Manchester Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust said: 

“We are absolutely delighted to be launching the Makerfield Suite for the people of Wigan and Leigh. This dedicated area will provide a safe space for people experiencing a mental health crisis, who may otherwise find the busy Emergency Department distressing.

“It was so important to us to listen to and work with those who have lived experience of accessing mental health crisis care, to make sure this area will be suitable for anyone who needs support.

"We are so thankful to all our fantastic Wigan and Leigh service users who took the time to share their experiences and work with us, alongside our WWL colleagues, to co-create something we are really proud of.”

Leigh Journal: The suite opens formally on Monday, July 31The suite opens formally on Monday, July 31 (Image: GMMH)

Lisa Nandy, MP for Wigan, added: “It was a real privilege to launch the Makerfield Suite and to join the wonderful staff who will be working there. 

“Good mental health is so important to all of us, and it is particularly good that this space has been developed in collaboration with people who have experienced mental health difficulties, so that it can best support those who may need it in future. 

“The last few difficult years have been another reminder of how much we owe the amazing staff who work in our health service and look after us and our families in times of need, and it is fantastic for our town to now have a dedicated place where people who need support with their mental health can go for expert care.”