Publish date: 27 September 2021
With the trust chairman at the wheel, we formally broke ground at the site of our new low secure hospital on Tuesday.
Beatrice Fraenkel, along with Joe Rafferty, plus Estates Director Elaine Darbyshire, COO Steve Newton and colleagues were joined by representatives from NHSEI and our contractors at the site close to the entrance of Maghull Health Park.
The ceremony marks the start of construction on our 40-bed low secure hospital for people with learning disabilities. The hospital will be built on approximately 6.5 acres of land to the east of Villas Road, following approvals from Sefton Council’s planning committee and the Department of Health and Social Care.
Also present were Associate Director of Strategic Estates Planning Jo Worswick, Elaine Wilkinson the Strategic Project Manager, and from the division Mark Latham, Julia Musker, Joey Dunn and Steph Phillips. Senior members of Vinci Construction attended, and on behalf of specialist commissioners, Secure Case Manager Linda McGuire, with several colleagues sending apologies and good wishes.
Joe said: “It builds on a long tradition of hospitals providing specialist care in the Maghull area and is another part of our development of Maghull Health Park as a Centre of Excellence. This new hospital has been designed with great precision and care. It will look beautiful and will include low carbon features and be energy efficient. Essentially though it will provide support for people across the region requiring complex care in a therapeutic low secure setting to the very highest standards that they deserve and need.”
The Government has committed £33 million to the project, and the site is expected to open to service users in autumn of 2023. It forms part of a specialist pathway of care the NHS commissions us to deliver which also includes the nearby Rowan View hospital.
That site opened in 2020 and supports service users in a medium secure setting. Rowan View has already won plaudits, including a national design award, for service user engagement. The co-location of forensic services across Maghull Health Park offers significant benefits and the proposal has been developed solely with the aim of providing the best possible clinical service to meet the needs of forensic patients with a learning disability.
Last year Sefton’s Planning Committee Report concluded: “The proposed building is high quality and would incorporate various energy efficient features, responding positively to the general character of the area and surrounding built form while ensuring a natural buffer to the open countryside and ‘safeguarded land’ to the east. The proposal ensures an appropriate level of parking and supports sustainable transportation.” The local authority asked for landscaping and environmental assurances. These are part of Mersey Care’s plans and fit into the existing community work carried out in the area by site gardeners, volunteers and others.