UK government gives green light for brand-new £105.9 million mental health unit in Manchester | News and Events

UK government gives green light for brand-new £105.9 million mental health unit in Manchester

The UK government has given its final approval for Greater Manchester Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust (GMMH) to build a brand-new mental health unit for adults in Manchester at North Manchester General Hospital (NMGH).

On 11 November 2021, the UK government formally approved the Full Business Case (FBC) for the development, to release the necessary capital investment – the final approval needed to allow construction to begin. This follows approval of the FBC by both the Department of Health and Social Care, and NHS England & Improvement, on 30th September.

This is part of the Prime Minister’s commitment to upgrade 20 hospitals, backed by £850m, to update facilities and equipment, helping improve patient care and ultimately save more lives.

The £105.9 million state-of the-art unit will replace the current Park House mental health inpatient unit situated at NMGH. £91.3 million will be funded by central government, with the remaining £14.6 million funded by the Trust. The project forms part of an exciting vision for NMGH to improve health and wellbeing for local people over the next 10 to 15 years.

Work has already begun to clear the development site, with demolition works due to start imminently, and scheduled for completion by the end of March 2022. Construction work on the new building is due to start in April 2022.

Park House is an inpatient unit providing assessment and treatment for adults and older people with mental health needs, including depression, schizophrenia, psychosis and dementia. GMMH became responsible for the delivery of services at Park House in 2017, and immediately recognised it was a priority for improvement, due to its outdated dormitory-style accommodation and limited outdoor space.

GMMH has already invested over £3 million in refurbishments and enhancements to improve facilities and the environment at Park House since 2017. Ongoing improvement work is continuing until the new building is complete and in use by 2024.

The new state-of-the-art unit will see a great improvement to patient experience, with spacious single bedrooms each with private en-suite bathrooms, a variety of indoor activity areas, and multiple outside garden spaces. The modern facilities will utilise the latest technology and therapeutic design, to ensure an environment that is both conducive to recovery and pleasant to live in, work at and visit.

Plans for the development include:

  • 150 single en-suite bedrooms, over nine single sex wards. This will include a purpose built Psychiatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU), seven adult acute wards, and one older adults’ ward.
  • An assessment suite (specifically for people needing a place of safety and assessment under Section 136 of the Mental Health Act).
  • A variety of internal activity areas and multiple outside garden spaces specifically designed to enhance the environment and aid recovery.

Throughout development of the FBC and design process, GMMH has engaged with service users, staff, carers and the wider North Manchester community, alongside key stakeholders from the wider health and care system, to ensure it is fit for purpose and all plans are thoroughly informed by and co-created with the communities it will serve.

 

Minister for Mental Health, Gillian Keegan, said:

“Every person receiving treatment deserves to be treated with dignity and respect and I am determined to ensure everyone who needs help can access high quality care in a comfortable environment.

“This upgrade is one of 20 major hospital upgrades we are building with an £850 million investment, and it is testament to our mission to remove dormitory accommodation from mental health facilities – a commitment which is backed by a further £400 million.

“More widely, we are transforming mental health services in England with an additional £2.3 billion a year by 2023/24.”

 

Andy Burnham, Mayor of Greater Manchester, said:

"This announcement is great news. It ensures patients are cared for in the best possible environment and it will no doubt be welcomed by staff and patients.

“Ensuring hat everyone gets the mental health support they need is a priority for me and this funding will give us first class mental health facilities that patients in our city-region deserve.”

 

Sir Richard Leese, chair-designate of the Greater Manchester Integrated Care Board, said:

"This is brilliant news for our city region and the new facility will play a vital role in how we address the mental health needs of our population at a time when we know there will be a greater reliance on those services.

"I'm delighted that work on site will begin imminently so we can provide much-improved facilities for those who need them as soon as possible.

"I'd like to pay tribute to the hard-working staff at Park House for the work they have done to date and to an even better future in a facility that will hugely enhance the privacy and dignity for patients, and to improve their mental health and wellbeing."

 

Neil Thwaite, Chief Executive at GMMH said:

“We are absolutely delighted to have received government approval to go ahead with our ambitious and exciting plans to build a new mental health inpatient unit for Manchester.

“Every step of the Full Business Case and budget approval process has led us closer to achieving our vision, and we are thrilled to have now been given the final go-ahead.

“The new unit will transform the menta health inpatient experience for our service users, their families and our staff in Manchester. It will allow us to provide the best possible specialist mental health care in a cutting-edge building that offers a pleasant and therapeutic environment for all

“Work has already started on site to clear older buildings ready for the main construction phase next year and we estimate the new inpatient unit will be open for patients in 2024.”

 

As the scheme moves into the next stage, GMMH will be continuing conversations with North Manchester’s communities to hear feedback, test thinking and develop the design further.

The new unit will be built at the same hospital site, but in a different location, meaning current patient care and treatment will not be impacted during construction.

Work on the new building is expected to start in 2022, with the new unit anticipated to be built and operational by 2024.

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