Published on: Friday 25th September 2020

A message from Heather Caudle, Chief Nursing Officer, Surrey and Borders Partnership NHS Foundation Trust.

Our regulators, the Care Quality Commission (CQC), inspected the Abraham Cowley Unit earlier this year. The inspectors made a number of comments about how we could improve safety at the unit by making changes to the building. As a result, we developed an Action Plan that committed to a large amount of building work to fix the issues they have highlighted.
Building work always brings with it disruption (more on this below) so we thought that as we would be disturbing the unit in any case, we should do more work at the same time, and take some steps to make the environment more pleasant and comfortable for people during their inpatient stay.
The works will start in the week commencing 5 October. Because we know the work will mean noise, dust, visitors and impact on space (not to mention new safety concerns), we had to find a way to ensure both the safety of everyone and providing an environment that is conducive to recovery until the work is complete. We have therefore come to an agreement with a private provider called Elysium, based in Farmfield, Surrey, to make use of some of their ward space. This will mean that people currently on Clare ward will move to Elysium next week.
We are sorry that this news is coming to you at such short notice, but we felt that as the work is being done for safety reasons, we should not delay. It is very fortunate that Elysium could offer us a pleasant and safe environment at such short notice. 
We will have completed work on the first ward by the end of November. With another ward of people being treated at Elysium, that will mean that two thirds of the people receiving inpatient care and treatment will be in modernised facilities by that point. The whole project will be concluded by the end of April 2021.
You may well have questions about the move, so please contact your ward manager or consultant. You can also speak to the ACU senior team: Sima, Kylie, Claire and Anand.
We will minimise the disruption as best we can, but overall it is bound to be uncomfortable for everyone, including our staff, until the work is done. I apologise for this short period of disruption, but I am confident that the end result will provide a much better experience for people during their inpatient stay. I can’t wait to see how the wards look and feel as a result of the works.
Best wishes,

 Signature from Snip tool GIF (002).GIF

Heather Caudle
Chief Nursing Officer