The main driver for the temporary closure is to allow for improvements to be made that will enhance overall experience, while also reducing the length of time a person is detained. 

These changes will also address the quality issues that were raised by the Care Quality Commission following its reports in 2016 and 2017. 

The temporary closure will also bring other benefits, some of which are listed below under the domains that were identified by the CQC as areas of concern.  



  • A purpose-built environment in Devizes that offers improved safety and quality of environment
  • Consolidating multiple places of safety into a single location will enable the establishment of a dedicated team of staff who will ensure consistency in safe care
  • Recruitment of new staff is more likely to be successful given the skills and experience available within the team
  • Better recording of data in relation to performance incidents
  • The new environment allows staff from other agencies to be in the place of safety without being in the direct clinical areas
  • An approved mental health professional will undertake assessment to avoid travel between different places of safety



  • A specialist team of staff will ensure screening, assessment and planning for discharge will occur immediately on arrival
  • Consolidation to one site offers the opportunity to develop a training matrix which recognises the place of safety as a specialist area
  • Provision of a dedicated clinic room within the unit will enable physical health monitoring as required
  • A single unit will enable more effective communication with community teams and the Urgent Care Clinical Hub
  • There will be an opportunity for more dedicated medical time



  • Having a single team will improve the quality of care provided
  • The new site enables gender-specific areas and space for people to be away from their individual rooms
  • More environmental facilities, such as a courtyard for accessing fresh air, a kitchen, communal space and an assessment room with a bed and en-suite



  • Co-located approved mental health practitioners will shorten the time taken to carry out assessments
  • A dedicated space will enable the Intensive Support Team to undertake crisis community assessments
  • Capacity will be increased by 33 per cent
  • A single service will ensure better system resilience 
  • Detainees will be provided with transport home



  • There will be a single clinical leadership structure, with identifiable clinical lead and director
  • There will also be a dedicated team manager and single locality management structure
  • Identifiable management will improve inter-agency relationships and enable a responsive escalation process for partners
  • Improved ownership of performance for place of safety activity through the new single management structure