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.”
From Left: Lynne Hughes (Deputy Chief Operations Officer - Liverpool, MCFT), Mike Webb (Projects Director - LSHP) and Andrew Arnold (Managing Director - Gilling Dod Architects)
A new inpatient addictions facility called the 'Hope Centre' has opened in Smithdown Health Park, Liverpool.
The new centre, which became operational in October 2017, represents significant investment by Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust in its estate. Working with LSHP and project architects Gilling Dod and design and construction teams, health partners and commissioners, the collaboration has created a bright, modern, inpatient facility for people who need detox for alcohol and or drug misuse.
The opening ceremony was an opportunity for LSHP to join with Mersey Care staff and partners to get their first proper look around the modern facility. After taking part in a series of mini tours of the building visitors reported how impressed they were with the high standard of refurbishment of what used to be the old Kevin White Unit, originally opened in 1996.
All patients at the Hope Centre will now have their own single bedroom and there are light, therapeutic areas for group work, with gender specific lounges and common day and ward areas.
Chief Operating Officer for Mersey Care’s Local Services, Donna Robinson, thanked all those involved in bringing the project to completion. The service also had the task of moving out of their ageing building located at Windsor Clinic at Aintree University Hospital.
Lead Consultant Dr Yasir Abbasi gave an overview of the service explaining that for every pound invested in health services such as this, it represents a social return on investment of around £2.50 to the wider community. He also paid tribute to the late Dr Kevin White who opened the first dedicated drug addictions clinic on the former Sefton General Hospital site located there many years before.
Graham Hignett | Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust