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'Safe space' to be built for islanders in crisis

'Safe space' to be built for islanders in crisis

Thursday 24 October 2019

'Safe space' to be built for islanders in crisis

A 'safe place' will be included at Clinique Pinel as part of a major £5.5 million revamp of Jersey's mental health facilities to avoid suffering islanders being placed in Police cells, it has been confirmed.

Speaking in the States Assembly this week, Infrastructure Minister Deputy Kevin Lewis announced that proposals for a “place of safety” had been added to the upgrade plans, which he said would be submitted for Planning approval next week.

The £5.5 million mental health facilities upgrade was announced in June following the publication of a damning Scrutiny report that exposed grave flaws in the island’s mental health service.

One of the issues mentioned in the report was the case of islanders in mental health "crisis" being secured in prison cells rather than being sent to a specialised facility.


Pictured: The safe space was first planned for the General Hospital.

The government originally planned to build a “place of safety for islanders in mental health crisis” at the General Hospital, but following a review it was deemed the space would not meet best practice standards.

It was therefore decided to secure what a government spokesperson described as “a high-quality provision” at the Clinique Pinel development.

They said space would comply with local regulations, best practice guidance as well as accreditation requirements from the Psychiatric Liaison Accreditation Network and guidelines from the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence.

“Plans have been drawn up to provide a spacious environment with an adjoining lobby which will facilitate safe and private transfer of the person into the suite,” the spokesperson said, adding: “It will also have access to an outside courtyard.”

The space has been designed to provide “respectful and confidential care” to the person while minimising the risks to both the person and staff.

hands holding

Pictured: Islanders will be able to receive "respectful and confidential care".

The suggested plans have been reviewed by a group of people with experience of using the island's mental health services.

However, the government is still hoping to include a safe space in plans for the future hospital. 

“The ideal is an Article 36 suite based in the hospital and the mental health services leadership team is working to ensure this is incorporated into the new hospital,” the spokesperson said.

Addressing his fellow States Members on Tuesday, Deputy Lewis described the planned refurbishment as a “complex project”. He said work had already started on the “essential upgrade and refurbishment” of Orchard House, which should be complete by the end of the year.

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Pictured: Deputy Lewis said work should be completed by the end of next year.

He added that the second and third phase of the project would involve the relocation of the acute mental facility at Orchard House to “fit for purpose facilities at Clinique Pinel".

To carry out the work, patients currently receiving treatment at Clinique Pinel will need to be moved to Rosewood House, which will require “internal alterations and extension work".

Deputy Lewis said the project had evolved as a result of changing requirements that had led it to “double in size” since feasibility studies were carried out in 2017. 

He said the scope had been finalised and agreed, adding that it should be “possible” to submit planning applications for both Clinique Pinel and Orchard House next week.

Deputy Lewis said the current plans had only been signed off last month and that the work should be concluded by the end of next year.

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