A new, purpose-built mental health facility has been given the go-ahead by commissioners to replace Lambeth Hospital’s ‘unfit for purpose’ acute mental health wards.
The green light for the new building was given by the governing body of the NHS South East London Clinical Commissioning Group, on July 16, after a three month public consultation.
It will see Douglas Bennett House, on Windsor Walk, redeveloped to house acute adult inpatient services, including four specialist wards and a psychiatric intensive care unit; all currently based in Landor Road.
Commissioners have described the existing facilities in Lambeth Hospital as ‘out-of-date’, ‘poor quality’ and ‘not fit for purpose’- with some of its acute wards dating back to the 1930s. The experience patients have in this environment is believed to have a negative impact on their recovery
The new design has been developed by architects who specialise in creating spaces with mental health and its treatment in mind. They have taken on board years of input from patients, staff, carers and regulators.
The building will give more privacy for patients, have all wards single-sex, and bedrooms will have en-suite bathrooms. The designs also include balconies and outdoor space, family rooms, and a multi-faith suite.
The decision to redevelop Douglas Bennett House was made in order to keep distribution to patients to a minimum, and avoid multiple moves for patients.
Other options considered included refurbishing the existing site, knocking down and rebuilding, or constructing on a new site elsewhere in Lambeth. But all could have pushed the costs up in excess of a further £30 million.
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 and ensure that our patients receive the most appropriate care in the most appropriate setting, with buildings and facilities they and our NHS staff deserve.”