Frequently asked questions
How long has the project lasted?
We began on site in 2011 and all work is due for completion in 2014.
How much is this project costing?
The project is costing £15million 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 are also additional beds created by this project; an expansion of the current services for women.
What are the benefits of this project?
The main benefits are that it is enhancing living accommodation for high quality, modern mental health care. We are also able to provide better therapeutic activity in a dedicated therapy centre and reconfiguring the service also helps 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 have service users be involved?
We consulted existing service users at the design phase of the project and they 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’ve also involved carers and families.
Have the new buildings been built any higher?
The buildings were all within existing rooflines apart from the sports hall; this was built higher than existing buildings within Newton Lodge. However, to minimise the impact of this on our neighbours, this building faces into the Fieldhead site. The new residential buildings were higher than the buildings they replaced, but not higher than other existing single storey facilities at Newton Lodge.
Are the new buildings any closer to the houses next to Fieldhead?
The buildings are marginally closer to the fence line on the Northern side – however they are still within the boundary of the existing fire road and fence line so this was very slight.
Is there any change to the fence line?
There have been no changes to the fence line of the unit to the north of the site (facing Hatfeild View). There have only be changes to the fence line on the actual Fieldhead site. The installation of this new fence line was one of the first elements of the scheme to be undertaken, to ensure that the secure perimeter of 5.8m was maintained at all times.
How does the scheme impact visually on local residents?
We hope that the new view is 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 has lifted the aesthetic of the unit and replaced the dull brown that was previously in place.
Will there be any changes to the security measures?
There has been no reduction in security. As above, the secure fence line will be maintained throughout the scheme, and any new fence lines were always in place before the old ones were removed. Security and safety of contractors, staff, patients and local residents is the Trust’s primary concern. 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. 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 has tried to notify local residents of any times in our programme where we knew it would be particularly noisy or messy (such as demolitions). We have always been interested in feedback from local residents on how they would like to see the effects of this minimised.
Will there be any impact on traffic and parking during and after the project?
The building work has not adversely affected the traffic flow for residents who live locally. On the Fieldhead site the building work has meant some current parking spaces have been lost but 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.
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 have taken every opportunity to minimise impact and welcome continued dialogue with our neighbours on how to do this. The scheme has been 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 was 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.
Page last updated on May 19th, 2014