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  • Jane Batchelor

Mersey Care end dormitory wards in Liverpool

Approval for a state of the art new mental health hospital in Liverpool has been granted by the Treasury and Department of Health and Social Care, paving the way for the end of dormitory wards in the city.

Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust’s will deliver four 20 bed wards with the new hospital, which will consolidate services from across Liverpool on the site of the old Mossley Hill Hospital. Plans for the new building on Park Avenue have been subject to extensive public engagement going back to 2016.

Last year a competitive tendering process took place overseen by Liverpool Sefton Health Partnership (LSHP). Construction giants GRAHAM were chosen as the preferred build partner because of their wide experience including numerous health sector projects and architects Gilling Dod have worked with service users, carers and stakeholders to create the modern, airy designs for the hospital.

Beatrice Fraenkel, Chairman of Mersey Care, said:

“This news allows us to give the people of Liverpool what they need – the very best care in a modern, therapeutic environment with single en suite facilities and easy access to gardens and open space.
Our current inpatient estate has been identified as a limiting factor in service users’ recovery. More than that, by delivering better buildings we’re also setting newer and higher standards in mental health care for everyone.”

The old Mossley Hill hospital was a mixture of buildings dating from 1938. It was demolished last year whilst retaining the historic mansion building on Park Avenue. Material from the older buildings were crushed for re-use on site as future building materials, as part of a clear environmental strategy for the hospital which also includes trees, gardens, cycle parking and car charging points.

Mersey Care’s Executive Director of Estates, Elaine Darbyshire, said:

“Building an 80 bed facility is a major investment in care to the people of Liverpool. It’s important for our staff and for those building the hospital.
As a Trust, we’ve seen major new sites built at Clock View in Walton in 2015, Rowan View in Maghull in 2020 and Southport’s Hartley Hospital, as well as refurbishing other sites such as Leigh Moss near Alder Hey.
We’re also part way through building a low secure hospital, and so this latest approval continues Mersey Care’s radical reshaping of care for our patients. I’d like to use this opportunity to invite professionals to join us, in clinical roles, as well as in facilities, support and administrative jobs, across our wide range of services.”
“This news enables people with mental health needs to know they will have a therapeutic environment to rest and recover from their crisis episode,”

added Mrs Darbyshire,

“We’re really looking forward to seeing our new hospital with all of its en suite single bedroom accommodation, fulfilling a national pledge in improving care standards.”

The name for the new building, which must conform to a number of criteria for accessibility and appropriateness, is being discussed online on the Trust’s website. People are invited to offer possible hospital names for a final decision by Mersey Care in the autumn.

Final approval from HM Treasury came this week after the Department of Health agreed the plans last month, allowing construction work to start as planned in September. Across England, more than £400 million will be committed over the next four years to eradicate dormitory accommodation from mental health facilities to improve the safety, privacy and dignity of patients.

Locals are kept informed of plans with regular leaflet drops and there are open day events planned throughout the construction period. The new site is expected to open in 2024.



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