The Challenge:

Through extensive consideration and staff involvement on future models of care, it was proposed that the most effective approach would be to co-locate the two MSUs in a single high-quality therapeutic unit on Mersey Care’s existing site in Maghull.

To deliver this vision for progressive medium secure learning disability and mental illness care, a new unit was required to care for service users that would bring together the highest quality clinical care in the most effective setting to support proactive case management and a tightly managed but also appropriate length of stay. The aim was to improve recovery rates for service users and ensure that care is cost-effective for commissioners.

The Solution:

The clinical model for the medium secure service was developed with clinical and operational leads from both Trusts, in line with best practice and national policy and seeks to address future clinical and workforce challenges. In addition, the local and national specialist commissioners provided input, review and support in the development of the clinical model.

The building is a high quality, centre of excellence, comprising of:

  • 123 beds located over eight wards
  • Specialist Learning Disability and Mental Health wards
  • An environment to promote the integration of physical and mental wellbeing
  • A social hub incorporating a café, therapy rooms, multi faith room, sports hall, gymnasium, music rooms, skills for life room, IT suite, bank, physical health suite
  • Use of modern technology throughout the unit for the benefit of patients and staff

Through design efficiencies, building typology and life cycle considerations our team provided cost savings in excess of £3m.

The Impact:

As part of our social value work for this project we have had 33 sustained apprentices, and held 11 school events and 11 community events. Highlights of CSR activity include taking part in Open Doors 2019, holding a webinar on design in mental health with Ron Hughes, donating barriers for the Whitechapel sleepout fundraiser and it was our first site in the North West to host the Mental Health First Aid Training Course.

The new facility represents a step change in care for service users, preparing them for life afterwards. It delivers innovative treatments to improve recovery times for people with mental health and learning disabilities.

The Trust consulted widely and visited sites across the country to ensure the new development delivers the highest standards and the new model of care for adult secure services. The high-quality environment, built to BREEAM Excellent sustainable standards, offers a healthy modern workplace.

The development provides a state-of-the-art mental health facility providing each service user with a single room with en-suite bathroom in a therapeutic and healing environment, supporting improved patient outcomes. This new facility is a place where the best medical and psychological treatments and therapies can be offered to support recovery within a managed length of stay, thereby offering clearly communicable care plans and value for money to commissioners and the tax payer. 

The project was awarded the Service User Engagement Award at the Design in Mental Health Awards in 2019.

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