Work at The Police Treatment Centres in Harrogate has started following a grant of £502,000 from LIBOR fines through the Blue Light fund.
The government has allocated nearly £10m to help support 200,000 emergency services personnel and volunteers, funded through LIBOR fines. This funding will be focused on mental health, physical recuperation and bereavement support. It is the first time that LIBOR funding has gone to support emergency services personnel. Over £8m of the funding will go to English charities, with the remaining £1.6m made available to the Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland governments.
Around 2000 serving & retired officers attend St Andrews in Harrogate every year. The PTC provides police-specific treatment for any on or off duty injury. The funding from Libor means that the Harrogate centre can continue to offer high-class specific treatment within the very top of the range facilities, in order to promote better health & wellbeing for the officers and speed up their return to work.
The first area to benefit from the Libor funding has been the reception area at St Andrews. The facilities have been improved so that the highest level of customer service can be given to attending patients, with a more customer focused space. The refurbishment has also focused on making the reception more capable of supporting people with disabilities. Following staff consultation, a privacy area has also been created, in order to protect patient’s confidentiality, and so that the reception team now work in the same area rather than being split across the centre.
Starting today, Monday 19th January, more work will start across the centre, including resurfacing the tennis courts with top of the range artificial turf. There will also be introduced a new outdoor exercise area dedicated to the rehabilitation of police officers. The equipment is being provided by Pennine Playground, and is being designed specifically for policing activities to increase confidence and prepare them for going back to work.
Through the funding, the PTC will be offering spin bikes for the patients.
This would enable patients to benefit from non-weight bearing cardiovascular training. In order to make full use of this new equipment, an extension will be added on to the main gym, specifically as a spinning room, as designed by Chris Robinson & Son Architects.
The onsite cottage at St Andrews will be benefitting from a full refurbishment. The cottage is a fantastic asset to the centre and is in great demand, as it allows patients receiving treatment at the centre to stay with their children & other half or child care. This creates a great relief for those officers that would otherwise struggle to take time out or that could not attend due to family commitments.
The final stage of this improvement will be a sensory garden in the grounds.
The PTC also offers support to officers following trauma or stressful times which is impacting their work. The number of these cases is increasing with at least 20% of patients requiring some support. Having a quiet area for personal contemplation will be of great benefit to these individuals’ recover. A similar area is already in place at Castlebrae, the centre in Auchterarder in Scotland, with great success. The design has been completed by Ronnie McMillan, a member of the gardening team at Castlebrae.The work will be completed by Chris Platt, an outside company, but one with good links with the PTC.
The work is due to be completed in March 2015.