CORNWALL'S Psychiatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) at Bodmin Hospital is the first of its kind in the South West and one of only three units in England and Wales to be rated as "excellent" by the Royal College of Psychiatrists.
Harvest PICU, which is run by Cornwall Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, achieved the highest possible rating after an extensive review. The unit cares for adults with challenging mental health problems.
Paul Deacon, nurse in charge, said: "Everyone on Harvest is absolutely delighted. As with a general intensive care unit, we look after the people who are most unwell or vulnerable. We all work very hard to ensure our patients receive the best possible care and outcomes.
"Our success is reflected in the fact that throughout our assessment we were able to demonstrate our commitment to patient care, access therapeutic activities, ongoing improvement and the involvement of patients and carers in everything we do."
The accreditation of in-patient mental health services (AIMS) is an initiative from the Royal College of Psychiatrists' Centre for quality improvement.
It identifies and acknowledges services which have high standards of patient care based on a review of recognised best practice.
Dawn Spry, modern matron, said: "This is excellent news for Cornwall. It demonstrates the leading edge care which the foundation trust's mental health services are synonymous with. Through the use of AIMS, we continually review our practice and strive to improve the patient experience."
As a result of Harvest's success, Mr Deacon will now share his expertise with other units as a peer reviewer under the AIMS programme. The unit will retain its rating until a further review in 2014.