New Plymouth


New Plymouth

The Intensive Psychiatric Care (IPC) unit has recently been upgraded at Te Puna Waiora, the adult mental health facility at Taranaki Base Hospital. The redesign plan was devised by clinicians, brought to life by New Plymouth Team Architects and built by Clelands Construction. The community project will be instrumental in helping those who need the unit to achieve mental wellness, with around 500 people using the facility each year. A new floor plan was designed to normalise the area by making it less clinical and more comfortable. The design allows for more spaces and separate areas for different patient needs, helping to protect the dignity of patients and their whanau. The brief was to design the unit “fit for purpose –modern times for modern needs”. The ultimate goal in the intensive care unit was to shift away from a prison-like environment to a more welcoming, therapeutic environment that supported engagement between patients and staff. Wendy Langlands, Taranaki District Health Board clinical services manager for mental health, addictions and older people, said improvements included soothing colour, and comforting bedrooms with safe mirrors and wardrobes. “They are designed to best mimic a home-like environment, which does make people feel more valued”. The aim was to design the space with a focus on the fact that mental health should be treated just like any other illness with patients treated with the same dignity and respect. The result is a calming space to help aid the mental rehabilitation and rejuvenation of patients.

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