Greater Manchester Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust (GMMH), alongside its Principal Supply Chain Partner, Integrated Health Projects (the joint venture between VINCI Construction UK and Sir Robert McAlpine), has formally submitted (6 November 2020) an application for full planning permission to Manchester City Council as part of a £105m investment to overhaul an adult mental health unit on the North Manchester Hospital site.
Under the plans, GMMH’s patients and carers will benefit from a new, purpose-built inpatient unit, which will greatly improve the quality of specialist inpatient care for adults and older people severely affected by mental health problems including schizophrenia, psychosis, depression and dementia.
The new building will be a place of innovation, using the latest technology and therapeutic techniques in an environment that is conducive to holistic treatment and recovery. The new facility will include better indoor space for patients and improved access to outside gardens as well as places to meet with family and friends, to help their recovery journey.
The state-of-the-art mental health inpatient unit will be constructed to the latest environmental standards, and will offer a healthy, modern environment for patients and workplace for staff. Its innovative design and parity of mental health and physical health provision will also give staff opportunities for greater job satisfaction as they improve the lives of vulnerable local people.
A series of workshops on the building’s internal design features, as well as engagement events, involving patients, carers, clinicians, the public and other stakeholders have already taken place and will continue throughout construction.
The full application is for:
- 150 single en-suite bedrooms to be provided over nine single sex wards, including a purpose built Psychiatric Intensive Care service, adult acute wards for female and male adults as well as for older adults needing short-medium term mental health care and treatment.
- An assessment suite (specifically for people needing a place of safety and assessment under Section 136 of the Mental Health Act).
Neil Thwaite, Chief Executive of Greater Manchester Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust, said: “This is a real milestone in our journey to deliver better care for our patients. Subject to planning permission and the successful business case approvals, we could see work commence on site next year. With the current progress being made, we hope to have the facility operational by the end of 2023.
“We want people to experience our services in surroundings that are modern, safe and accessible. This investment signals our commitment to improve the facilities in which we provide care to our local population. It is excellent news for mental health services in Manchester and forms part of exciting regeneration plans being developed for the North Manchester hospital site.”
Garry Bowker, Regional Director at VINCI Construction UK and Integrated Health Projects, said: “We are delighted to have been selected as the Trusts partner to deliver this innovative, modern and therapeutic mental health inpatient unit that will improve the quality of care for patients and the working environment for staff.
“This significant investment by the Trust will represent a step change in the facilities available to the local community and wider Manchester population. We are currently heavily engaged in design development and user engagement workshops and are excited about starting works on site once all the necessary approvals are in place. The works on site will also enable us to create social value opportunities, targeted at specific issues of depravation prevalent within the North Manchester community.”
Capital funding was originally awarded by the government in 2019 as part of new building and infrastructure projects in the NHS in England. While the funding was allocated in 2019, much work has been underway behind the scenes as part of a rigorous pre-build process to ensure the right facilities are provided. These planning applications mark a significant step forward in that process.
Subject to planning permission and additional audit assurance processes, work will start on site next year (2021) with the aim of new patients being treated in 2023.
Integrated Health Projects (IHP) has been appointed as the contractor to undertake the work. IHP has successfully overseen some of the county’s most significant construction developments in recent times including the 750-bed Manchester Nightingale Hospital and the delivery of a wide range of award-winning healthcare projects from “barn” operating theatres at Liverpool’s Broadgreen Hospital, The Harbour Mental Health facility in Blackpool, to the fast track redevelopment of Chase Farm Hospital.