South West Yorkshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust has begun work on a multi-million pound redevelopment of Newton Lodge (The Yorkshire Centre for Forensic Psychiatry), a medium secure mental health unit based at Fieldhead, Ouchthorpe Lane in Wakefield.
Newton Lodge was originally built in 1984. It is a medium secure unit for people who require NHS mental health care in a secure environment. It provides specialist care for people not only from the Trust’s areas of Barnsley, Calderdale, Kirklees and Wakefield but also from across the wider Yorkshire and the Humber region.
The redevelopment will significantly improve current facilities and involves demolishing and rebuilding on the existing Fieldhead site in Wakefield. The redevelopment is due for completion in the August 2013 and will see a total investment of £11.8milllion, a significant investment for Wakefield and the local region.
The Trust is funding the redevelopment with its own capital finances and is not tied into any private company for maintenance of the unit once completed. The Trust is working through the Procure 21 Framework; a framework of companies who are market tested by the Department of Health ensuring good value for the NHS. Interserve Construction Limited will manage and co-ordinate all contractors working on the scheme as well as keeping the scheme on time and to budget.
Dr Adrian Berry, the Trust’s director of forensic services, said, "The redevelopment plan will ensure that our buildings are a suitable environment in which to provide modern, high quality mental health care.
"The plans also enable the expansion of our specialist women’s service; a service that has received national recognition. By increasing the number of beds in this service it means that women will be able to receive the care they need locally, rather than having to receive it out of the local area.
"Our redevelopment will also see the creation of a centre for therapeutic activity. This part of the scheme is due for completion in March 2012 – and we hope to hold a mini Olympics to celebrate our new sporting and therapeutic facility."
Before the Trust submitted the redevelopment plans to the local authority for planning permission, they discussed them in detail with staff, people who currently use the service and their carers.
Public meetings were also held and were well attended by local residents, carers, staff, Members’ Council representatives and Trust members. Several changes were made to the plans based on the feedback received and the Trust is committed to continuing to involve people as the redevelopment progresses.
Steven Michael, the Trust’s chief executive said, "I am delighted that work has started on this significant redevelopment which will bring huge benefits to people we care for as well as our dedicated staff who work in the service. The benefits will be felt quickly as the first phase will be completed next spring when we will open an improved, dedicated therapy centre; helping us to provide structured, person-centred activity for each individual we care for, aiding their recovery.
"By rebuilding our facilities we will also be able to ensure our estate is meeting our targets for sustainability; protecting the environment and reducing our energy consumption.
"I was privileged to turn the first spade on site, marking the beginning of this exciting and substantial redevelopment project. It is great news for the region, for people who use our services and for the NHS."
Full information is available on the Trust’s website www.southwestyorkshire.nhs.uk