There has been a lot of discussion in the media in recent times about how we as a society and in particular how District Health Boards care for our mentally unwell. As a health board, we recognise the importance of treating our very unwell patients with the best, evidence-based therapeutic environment possible. To this end, I am very pleased to share with you the imminent start of the new Tiaho Mai. We will soon be moving some patients into other refurbished but temporary areas to allow for construction to begin over the next couple of months.
I am really proud of the team effort that has gone into the design principles of the new Tiaho Mai. Our staff have worked closely with service users, their families and have used design principles such as creating a welcoming sanctuary, a place for healing and recovery with lots of natural light and fresh air. The spaces will feel large and yet can be flexible, to cater for different patient needs.
Further, patients will feel safe – our most vulnerable patients or patients who are agitated and distressed will have areas beyond their own bedrooms where they can relax and not feel vulnerable. Currently, we do not have the space to provide for differing levels of acuity and differing phases of care, so the new building will go a long way to addressing these important needs.
Each patient will have their own room plus an en-suite which to me will be an enormous improvement. Families will be welcomed, including children so that patients need not feel isolated from their support base. We want to involve families as much as possible as they need to be a big part of the decision-making, support care planning and service delivery as their family member makes the steps towards recovery.
The staff will also feel positive benefits because of the fit-for-purpose spaces which support safe practice, team-based nursing, positive engagement with the service users and delivery of training programmes. The additional capacity and the lovely working environment will be important for staff retention and recruitment. Adverse events should be reduced because of the space, natural light and logical flows which will contribute to wellbeing. The strong partnership approach between service-users, staff and whaanau are key to achieving the best possible health outcomes.
Well done Team Tiaho Mai.
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