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Construction of Southport’s new £20 million mental health hospital has got underway with a ceremony to mark ground breaking on the site.

Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust Chairman Beatrice Fraenkel and Chief Executive Joe Rafferty were joined by construction partners and guests for the sod-cutting to commemorate the official start of building and ground works.

It will give a new lease of life to the historic site situated off Scarisbrick New Road, rejuvenating the only remaining hospital provision left on the former Southport General Infirmary site. The new-build will replace Mersey Care’s existing Boothroyd Unit located there, as well as nearby Hesketh Centre, which will close once the new facility is complete.

The hospital will combine local mental health inpatient care and some related community services on one site. All 44 bedrooms will all be single with en-suite bathrooms and patients will have access to inner garden courtyards, therapy and activity areas. There will be an on-site café for patients, visitors and staff, a family visiting room and sacred space, suite of offices and outpatient services.


Chairman Beatrice Fraenkel, who is also Mersey Care’s Design Champion, said: “I’m delighted we are able to mark the start of a new phase in healthcare for this site. This new hospital will replace the out-dated Victorian-built accommodation which is no longer right for supporting modern day healthcare. We know that the right physical environment helps recovery and the design of our new building has been developed together with our service users and staff to ensure it's both beautiful and therapeutic - and a great place to work."

Chief Executive Joe Rafferty added: “People in our care deserve the best standards of accommodation and therapeutic environments within the resources we have. This new hospital builds on the success of our most recent hospital at Clock View, Walton, and goes a long way towards parity for the people of Sefton who access our services.” 

Liverpool and Sefton Health Partnership (LSHP) who joined Mersey Care at the launch, has over the past 12 years delivered 15 new health facilities, representing a capital investment of over £150 million across Liverpool and Sefton.

LSHP General Manager Mike Webb said: “LSHP has been honoured to be part of the health transformation that continues to take place across Merseyside. It is great to see a much-needed, modern mental health unit taking shape on the old Infirmary site, replacing two older units and aiding improved patient care.”

Carrying out construction over the next two years will be Farran Heron Joint Venture (FHJV), who built Mersey Care’s award-wining hospital at Clock View in Walton, which opened in March 2015. Commercial Director at FHJV Noel Mullan said: “Farran Heron Joint Venture is delighted to be working with Mersey Care to deliver another prestigious healthcare project. We aim to have a positive impact on the local community by providing job opportunities and promoting careers in construction with neighbouring schools and colleges. We look forward to working closely with our health partners and the local community while delivering the scheme.”

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Pupils from Childwall Sports and Science Academy have helped to launch a series of health walks from Childwall Neighbourhood Health Centre.


The pupils helped to design the walks, which range from 1.5 miles to 5 miles long, as part of the Year of the Environment 2019 in Liverpool. All the walks start from the Centre, which is a LIFT building.


The young people also produced a series of artworks of local landmarks to illustrate publicity about the walks. 


LIFT Company LSHP organised the event with the support of GB Partnerships and CHP’s Tenant Liaison Manager Kyle Cline.  It is a partnership between the NHS, the school and Liverpool City Council’s library service.


Cllr James Noakes, Cabinet Member for the Environment at Liverpool City Council, welcomed the engagement of the young people in the project.


“Encouraging people to use public transport, leave the car and walk is good for health and also helps to reduce pollution,” he said.  There are big challenges and issues but with people across the city on board we can tackle these.”


Mike Webb, General Manager at LSHP added:

“LSHP is thrilled to support the government’s Year of the Environment 2019 initiative by developing with our partners a series of circular walks, starting and finishing at our health centres.  It is hoped these walks will promote healthy exercise, wellbeing, community engagement with the natural environment and education. Today’s launch of our first walk at Childwall NHC, has proved a great success with both young and old alike.”




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