Approval for St Ann’s Hospital eating disorders unit

Medical Architecture-designed facility to increase number of beds available in the area

The new eating disorder unit at St Ann's Hospital will meet a need for additional bed spaces in the area

A new eating disorders unit providing specialist care to the population of Dorset and the South West of England has gained planning consent.

The current capacity of six beds at St Ann’s hospital is insufficient to meet local demand and, as a result, patients are transported to other specialist units out of the area for treatment.

This creates significant problems for patients in maintaining contact with family and friends.

The new proposal will increase the number of beds available from six to 10.

The building had previously obtained planning consent for an eight-bed perinatal unit. However, after the construction of a new facility in Exeter, the Dorset HealthCare University NHS Foundation Trust changed its priorities.

The adaptation of the proposal is being overseen by Medical Architecture.

Its design uses traditional materials found on the hospital site, such as brick and clay roof tiles, but details them in a contemporary manner, providing a modern and attractive setting for the treatment and care of vulnerable patients.

The building sits in a wooded glade close to the main St Ann’s Hospital in Poole.

The design is crafted to have a low impact on the mature coastal trees, providing a private and dignified place for inpatients.

On the ground floor it will provide accommodation for eight inpatient beds, including one accessible and two high dependency beds.

Day spaces will have views out to the external area, maximising the therapeutic benefits of the surrounding woodland.

And community teams and therapy rooms will occupy the first floor to assist with continuing integrated care.

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