Green light for £25m older adult mental health unit

Published: 8-Aug-2022

Construction work set to begin later this year on psychiatric facility at Dorothy Pattison Hospital in West Midlands

Construction work will commence in October for a new-build inpatient unit at Dorothy Pattison Hospital, part of Black Country Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, following NHS England/Improvement (NHSE/I) approval of the Full Business Case.

The £25m unit, designed by Gilling Dod Architects, will offer single-bedroom accommodation to care for older adults with mental health conditions, including dementia, and will replace existing facilities at Bloxwich Hospital.

The modern, purpose-built facility will bring a number of benefits for patients and staff, including more-flexible space for therapeutic care.

Specialist healthcare infrastructure consultancy, Archus, has been appointed to undertake the role of P22 project manager for the construction and handover phases.

Archus has supported the scheme since 2019, providing P22 pre-construction project management and business case authoring services.

And Kier has been appointed as the trust’s construction partner through the P22 framework, alongside WT Partnership as trust cost advisor.

Archus executive director and Midlands lead, Chris Turner, said: “We are absolutely delighted that the scheme has received funding approval to proceed.

“This is a great result, not just for the team who have been involved with the project over the last few years, supporting the formulation of the business cases and associated pre-construction activities, but, more importantly, for the local community in Walsall.

Construction work has begun and the unit is set to be completed in early 2024

Construction work has begun and the unit is set to be completed in early 2024

“This facility will offer much-improved care for older mental health inpatients including single bedrooms, more dedicated space for therapeutic activities, and better lines of sight for patient supervision, enhancing their recovery and reducing the average length of stay.”

Divisional director of older adult and adult mental health at the trust, Debbie Cooper, added: “With this new development, older adult mental health service users in Walsall will have a modern environment that enables recovery in a setting that is appropriate and responsive for all.

“We are continuing to work with our partners to help make this vision a reality for the Walsall community we support.”

The project is aligned with numerous aspects of national policy including the NHS Long Term Plan, which sets out how the NHS will move to a new service model in which patients have more options, better support, and properly-joined-up care at the right time in the optimal care setting; and the Five Year Forward View, which focuses on commissioning for high-quality care and addressing the disparity between mental and physical health services.

Funding for the project has been granted through the Government’s Dormitory Eradication Fund, which supports the eradication of shared sleeping arrangements in NHS mental health accommodation.

Enabling work has already commenced on site, with the service expected to open in spring 2024.

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