NHS LIFT company starts work on Liverpool mental health hospital


Government go-ahead means work can start on £22m Mersey Care scheme on site of former Walton Hospital

LSHP, the NHS LIFT organisation for Liverpool and Sefton, is to start building work on a new £28m Mersey Care mental health facility on the former Walton Hospital site in North Liverpool, after the Government gave the final go-ahead for the project.

The new hospital off Rice Lane in Walton will provide short-term inpatient care for local people in modern, therapeutic environments.

Construction is expected to get under way on the site within the next few months, and the facility is due to open in 2015.

Mersey Care has been working for several years to improve its facilities under the TIME Project - To Improve Mental health Environments – as some of its Merseyside inpatient units are outdated.

Mersey Care’s TIME project director, John Doyle, said: “The Treasury Office announcement is great news for the people of Liverpool, Sefton and Kirkby, who deserve modern, high-quality healthcare in accommodation that will be among the best in the country.

"This really is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to build new inpatient facilities exactly how we want them to be built."

Graham Pink, chief executive of LSHP, added: “I am extremely pleased that the Government has approved plans for the building of this new mental health hospital in Walton.

“This £22m facility will provide a massive boost in terms of bringing much-needed new jobs to the area, as well as providing a modern mental health service which will enhance care and treatment, and improve the physical and mental wellbeing of people across the whole of Liverpool”.

The new facility has been designed by architectural practice, Medical Architecture, to provide light and airy spaces, individual bedrooms with en-suite bathrooms, activity areas and safe inner courtyard gardens to help aid recovery. It will have 85 single inpatient bedrooms and activity rooms for adult and older people acute mental health and dementia services.

Local schoolchildren have also worked with Mersey Care to design hoardings on the theme of health, wellbeing and tackling the stigma associated with mental health, which are now situated around the site.

Bob Wills, project director at Medical Architecture, said: "The design supports future flexibility through careful planning and standardisation of rooms. The building layout features a variety of therapeutic courtyard gardens that combat stigma and foster recovery. Interior design and wayfinding are derived from local and familiar themes and a major series of art commissions managed by Tate Liverpool are integral to the design and will enhance the public realm and form part of the patient experience."

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The main contractor for the development is Farrans Heron Joint Venture.