Trust drawing up proposals for new mental health in-patient unit

Lister Hospital

Two sites close to Lister Hospital in Stevenage have been identified for a new mental health unit in Hertfordshire. - Credit: Danny Loo

Proposals are being drawn-up for a new 54-bed mental health unit in the east of the county, to ‘level-up’ provision across Herts.

The unit would replace provision at Albany Lodge, in St Albans, and the Aston ward, at the Lister Hospital.

According to bosses at the Hertfordshire Partnership University Foundation Trust (HPFT) it would increase the number of in-patient beds available across the county by 10.

And, they say, it would address the need to level-up provision on the other side of the county.

The proposals were reported to a meeting of the county council’s health scrutiny committee on Friday, December 18.

At that meeting officials from the Trust highlighted facilities at Kingfisher Court, in Radlett, which was purpose-built five years ago.

As well as individual ensuite rooms, the facility features open spaces, landscaped gardens, natural light, areas for physical activities and for individual therapy.

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And Trust officials say they want to provide the same quality of care and experience to all residents who need in-patient care, by providing the new facilities.

Two possible sites close to the Lister Hospital, in Stevenage, have already been identified, and members of the scrutiny committee voted to show their support for the development of the business case.

According to a report prepared for the committee: “Early analysis shows that the development of a new unit will enable more service users to be treated in high quality therapeutic environment relatively close to where they reside, which will significantly improve the service user experience and deliver sustainable clinical, financial and operational improvements in the local health economy for the longer term.”

According to the report to the committee, the outline business case for the new unit is due to be considered by the HPFT board in January (2021) – with the aim being to then secure funding and to commission the building on 2023.

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