Health chiefs got an early Christmas present when construction of Southport’s new £20 million mental health hospital got underway with a ceremony to mark ground breaking on the site.
Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust Chairman Beatrice Fraenkel and Chief Executive Joe Rafferty were joined by construction partners and guests for the sod-cutting to commemorate the official start of building and ground works.
It will give a new lease of life to the historic site situated off Scarisbrick New Road, rejuvenating the only remaining hospital provision left on the former Southport General Infirmary site. The new-build will replace Mersey Care’s existing Boothroyd Unit located there, as well as nearby Hesketh Centre, which will close once the new facility is complete.
The hospital will combine local mental health inpatient care and some related community services on one site, with its own parking and close to a main route well served by buses. All 44 bedrooms will all be single with en-suite bathrooms and patients will have access to inner garden courtyards, therapy and activity areas. There will be an on-site café for patients, visitors and staff, a family visiting room and sacred space, suite of offices and outpatient services.
Mersey Care’s Design Champion and Chairman Beatrice Fraenkel:
“We know that the right physical environment helps recovery and the design of our new building has been developed together with our service users and staff to ensure it’s both beautiful and therapeutic – and a great place to work.”
Chief Executive Joe Rafferty added:
“People in our care deserve the best standards of accommodation and therapeutic environments within the resources we have. This new hospital builds on the success of our most recent hospital at Clock View, Walton, and goes a long way towards parity for the people of Sefton who access our services.”
At the launch were representatives of Liverpool and Sefton Health Partnership (LSHP), which has over the past 12 years delivered 15 new health facilities, representing a capital investment of over £150 million across Liverpool and Sefton. LSHP General Manager Mike Webb said:
“LSHP has been honoured to be part of the health transformation that continues to take place across Merseyside. It is great to see a much-needed, modern mental health unit taking shape on the old Infirmary site, replacing two older units and aiding improved patient care.”
Carrying out construction over the next two years will be Farran Heron Joint Venture (FHJV), who built Mersey Care’s award-winning hospital at Clock View in Walton, which opened in March 2015. Commercial Director at FHJV Noel Mullan said:
“Farran Heron Joint Venture aim to have a positive impact on the local community by providing job opportunities and promoting careers in construction with neighbouring schools and colleges. We look forward to working closely with our health partners and the local community while delivering the scheme.”
The construction team are now working closely with Sefton Council to ensure safe access arrangements are put in place before heavy site equipment is moved on site.