Green light for new inpatient mental health facilities at London hospital

Lambeth Hospital acute adult psychiatric services to move to purpose-built facility at Maudsley Hospital

Permission has been granted for a new adult inpatient mental health unit at Maudsley Hospital in Lambeth

NHS bosses have approved plans to transform adult acute mental health inpatient wards in Lambeth, south London.

The decision was made by the governing body of NHS South East London Clinical Commissioning Group after it considered feedback from a 12-week public consultation.

And it means that acute adult inpatient services, including four specialist wards and a Psychiatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU), can move from out-of-date, poor-quality facilities at Lambeth Hospital in Landor Road, to a safer, more-modern, purpose-built unit at Maudsley Hospital.

The consultation, which took place from 4 March to 31 May, received 235 responses via a survey, online discussions, focus groups and other meetings with key groups and the public.

This followed eight months of pre-consultation engagement by the CCG and the South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust, involving service users, carers, staff and other stakeholders.

The purpose-built new unit will replace outdated facilities at nearby Lambeth Hospital

The majority – 84% – of all respondents agreed there was a clear need to make changes to inpatient wards. And 64% said they were supportive of relocating inpatient beds and services to the Maudsley Hospital site.

However, a number of issues were raised, including travel and access to the Maudsley, the importance of having a culturally-appropriate inpatient care model, and the need for ongoing engagement as the plans are implemented.

And these have informed the recommendations which will be taken forward by South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust.

The redevelopment of Douglas Bennett House on the Maudsley Hospital site has been designed by IBI Group and developed over many years following input and feedback from staff, service users, carers and regulators.

The new building will give patients privacy, dignity and a therapeutic environment and will meet national standards by making all wards single-sex; with en-suite bathrooms in all bedrooms; direct, unsupervised access to large outdoor balconies; and fresh air, family rooms and a multi-faith space.

Plans for the building were subject to almost a year of public consultation

It is hoped it will also improve staff morale, recruitment and retention by creating a better working environment.

A number of other options, including refurbishing the existing site, rebuilding on the existing site, and rebuilding elsewhere in Lambeth were also considered.

But these were not taken forward to public consultation because this would have meant relocating services during construction, causing major disruption for many years and would have needed additional funding of around £30m.

A planning consultation about the future use of the vacated Lambeth Hospital site will be carried out by the trust this summer.

Welcoming the decision, Dr Adrian Mclachlan, GP clinical lead for Lambeth at NHS South East London Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “This was a hugely-important decision to urgently improve the facilities for our patients in Lambeth.

“It forms a vital part of our wide-reaching plans to improve mental healthcare including community and home-based services to ensure that our patients receive the most-appropriate care in the most-appropriate setting, with buildings and facilities they, and our NHS staff, deserve.”

David Bradley, chief executive at the South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust, added: “This is a significant and exciting step forward in our vision to transform inpatient facilities and create a modern, fit-for-purpose, therapeutic environment which our patients deserve so we can deliver world-class mental healthcare in the 21st Century.

The new building will have single-sex, private en-suite bedrooms as well as improved communal spaces and staff working environments