Frequently asked questions

How long is the project going to last?

The entire scheme is scheduled to be completed in August 2013.

How much is this project costing?

The project is costing nearly £12million and represents significant investment for the service, the NHS and the local area.

How is the scheme funded? Is it a Private Finance Initiative (PFI)?

No it isn’t a PFI. The Trust is funding this with its own capital finances and is not tied into any private company for maintenance of the unit once completed. We are working through the Procure 21 Framework with our private sector partners Interserve Construction Limited. Interserve Construction Limited will manage and co-ordinate all contractors working on the scheme and the production of designs and plans for the planning permission submission. Procure 21 is a framework of companies who are market tested by the Department of Health ensuring good value for the NHS.

Who is the service for?

The service is for men and women who require NHS care in a secure environment. People who are cared for by the service have mental health problems and/or learning disabilities.

Is this a new service?

No, it is the same service. It is a redevelopment of existing accommodation and the creation of enhanced therapeutic space. There would be an additional 10 beds created by this project, which would be an expansion of the current services for women.

What are the benefits of this project?

The main benefits are that it will enhance living accommodation for the existing male patients which is currently not optimised to deliver high quality, modern mental health care. We will be able to provide better therapeutic activity in a dedicated therapy centre and reconfiguring the service will also help improve care pathways and aid recovery. Importantly, the project will also enable more women to receive NHS care nearer to their home as at the moment they have to receive care out of the local area.

How does this benefit the Wakefield area?

In line with other NHS facilities in the local area, the medium secure service will be delivered from first-class modern NHS facilities; providing high quality care for local people. The project also brings with it an investment of nearly £12million.

How will service users be involved?

We have already consulted existing service users at the design phase of the project and they have had input into our plans. Obviously, it is very important we ask the opinions of people who use our service as they are able to give us vital insight into how it feels to be cared for in this environment. We are committed to continuing our work with our service users throughout the project and we also hope to involve carers and families.

How will NHS staff be involved in the project?

There have already been several opportunities for staff consultation at the design phase of the project. There are several workstreams looking at the building but also how high quality and safe care can be most effectively delivered to the people we care for.

Will the new buildings be built any higher?

The buildings are all within existing rooflines apart from the sports hall; this will be higher than existing buildings within Newton Lodge. However, to minimise the impact of this on our neighbours, this building faces into the Fieldhead site. This part of the scheme will not be closer to Hatfeild View. The new residential buildings will be higher than the buildings they are replacing, but not higher than other existing single storey facilities at Newton Lodge.

Will the new buildings be any closer to the houses next to Fieldhead?

The buildings will be marginally closer to the fence line on the Northern side – however they will still be within the boundary of the existing fire road and fence line so this will be very slight. One of the new buildings will extend on to what is currently a football pitch. However, as the pitch will be removed during the redevelopment, it means that patients will use this area much less often than they currently do. The end of this extension is a plant room for the unit and as such there will be no windows on that end of the extension.

Is there any change to the fence line?

There will be no changes to the fence line of the unit to the north of the site (facing Hatfeild View). There will only be changes to the fence line on the actual Fieldhead site. The installation of this new fence line will be one of the first elements of the scheme to be undertaken and will ensure that the secure perimeter of 5.8m is maintained at all times.

How will the scheme impact visually on local residents?

We hope that the new view will actually be an improvement on the existing units. The design ethos has been to build in security measures to the structure of the building making these less obvious to the eye and therefore more attractive. Pale render to the unit will hopefully lift the aesthetic of the unit and replace the dull brown currently in place.

Will there be any changes to the security measures?

There will be no reduction in security. As above, the secure fence line will be maintained throughout the scheme, and any new fence lines will be in place before the old ones are removed. Security and safety of contractors, staff, patients and local residents is the Trust’s primary concern in relation to this scheme. This is reflected in both the final building design and the phasing of the construction project.

What will the noise be like whilst the building work is carried out?

There will be normal construction noise throughout the building work. Normal hours of work for the builders will be between 8am and 5pm. During phases 2 and 3 there will be additional noise created by the demolition of some existing buildings; this would last between 2-3 weeks and 1-2 weeks respectively. During these periods building work will be confined to the hours of 9am to 4pm. The delivery of building materials will also be timed to cause the minimum amount of disruption to local residents.

How will the noise and mess be kept to a minimum?

Inevitably noise and dust during construction will occur. As with any building project this is unavoidable, and the Trust would certainly look to notify local residents of any times in our programme which we know will be particularly noisy or messy (such as demolitions). We would be interested in feedback from local residents on how you would like to see the effects of this minimised.

Will there be any impact on traffic and parking during and after the project?

It is not anticipated that the building work will adversely affect the traffic flow for residents who live locally. On the Fieldhead site the building work will mean some current parking spaces will be lost. However, these will be replaced and increased elsewhere on site.

Can a hedge be added behind the wooden fence on Ouchthorpe Lane?

No, unfortunately not – we are required to keep a clear path on the external side of the 5.8m fence for maintenance and security. The space between this fenceline and the wooden fence on Ouchthorpe is not wide enough to accommodate a hedgerow.

What about the view from Ouchthorpe Lane?

Following concerns raised at the public meetings that the link corridor looked out of place and ugly, it has been decided that this can be removed from the plans and be managed as a pathway only. Following feedback, the planted area outside the fenceline received attention within a couple of days of it being raised as an issue. The Trust will also consider improvements to the wooden fence to that side of the site and the planted area.

Why does the fence have to be so tall?

There are national standards for medium secure units with which the Trust is obliged to conform. For the safety and security the fence line will be maintained at all times during the project.

How will you be minimising the impact of the construction on neighbouring properties?

We will make every opportunity to minimise impact and welcome continued dialogue with our neighbours on how to do this. The scheme will be run under the Considerate Constructor scheme which controls hours of working, commits to timing deliveries so as to avoid busy periods such as school runs, and provides contact details for the site manager.

How will construction traffic get on to the site?

All site traffic will access the site via the usual entry points to the Fieldhead site from Ouchthorpe Lane, approaching from the Bar Lane roundabout. A dilapidations survey of Ouchthorpe Lane will be undertaken prior to the start of works on site, at the end of the site a further survey will identify if the road surface has been damaged by construction traffic. Any damage will be rectified. All large plant equipment will be delivered on suitable sized vehicles for entry to Fieldhead. Nothing will be unloaded on Ouchthorpe Lane.

Which other units have been looked at to establish current best practice in design and materials?

Page last updated on February 12th, 2013