3 September 2020
The Police Treatment Centres (PTC) are set to re-open after Covid-19 forced their closure earlier this year.
Both the St Andrews site in Harrogate and Castlebrae in Auchterarder will open their doors from Monday (7 September) but at initially reduced capacity and with strict safety measures in place in accordance with Government guidelines. There will be no hospitality weekend breaks available for some time.
The PTC chief executive officer, Patrick Cairns, says: “We intend to run our psychological wellbeing programme at full capacity when we re-open but we will only be able to treat reduced numbers on the physiotherapy programme.
“We are all adjusting to new ways of doing things and changes in the centres include a one-way system, social distancing directions and some changes to classes. Patients will be asked to complete a questionnaire prior to arrival and again at admission when a temperature test will also take place.”
Officers whose treatment was cancelled in March have been prioritised so new applications for the psychological wellbeing and physiotherapy programmes are not currently being taken.
“Our clinical teams are working hard to deal with the backlog and we hope to be able to take new applications in the near future,” adds Patrick.
“We have carried out virtual triaging using the leading edge ‘Attend Anywhere’ technology platform which means remote treatments can be offered and possibly a virtual out-patient programme.”
Patrick also explains that the centres have maintained contact with donors and patients during closure by using new mental health app ‘Thrive’ - the only NHS approved app of its kind in the UK.
“We worked closely with the Thrive developers to customise it for our use and it has already helped many patients to manage stress, improve wellbeing and build resilience.”
In addition, the development of a new multi-million pound clinical wing at the Harrogate centre has continued, despite some disruption caused by coronavirus, and is scheduled for completion in spring 2021. It will include more bedrooms, counselling rooms, complementary therapy rooms and meeting facilities. It will also double the number of places available for the psychological wellbeing programme.
Patrick adds: “The last six months have been an incredibly frustrating and difficult time for all of us and we are aware that out police family members have played a huge role in contributing to the safety and health of our country.
“We are now looking forward to getting back to work so we can provide the treatment and support that we know many of you need when you come to us.”