Construction work will commence in October for a new-build inpatient unit at Dorothy Pattison Hospital, part of Black Country Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, following NHS England/Improvement (NHSE/I) approval of the full business case.
The unit, at a gross construction cost of £25m, will offer single bedroom accommodation to care for older adults with mental health conditions, including dementia, and will replace existing facilities at Bloxwich Hospital. The modern, purpose-built facility will bring a number of benefits for patients and staff, including more flexible space for therapeutic care.
Specialist healthcare infrastructure consultancy, Archus, has been appointed to undertake the role of P22 Project Management of the construction and handover phases. Archus has supported the scheme since 2019, providing P22 pre-construction project management and business case authoring services. Kier has been appointed as the Trust’s construction partner through the P22 framework, alongside WT Partnership as trust cost advisor.
Chris Turner, Archus executive director and Midlands lead, said: “We are absolutely delighted that the scheme has received funding approval to proceed. This is a great result, not just for the team who have been involved with the project over the last few years, supporting the formulation of the business cases and associated pre-construction activities, but more importantly for the local community in Walsall.
“This facility will offer much improved care for older mental health inpatients including single bedrooms, more dedicated space for therapeutic activities and better lines of sight for patient supervision, enhancing their recovery and reducing the average length of stay.”
Debbie Cooper, divisional director of older adult and adult mental health, said: “With this new development, older adult mental health services in Walsall will have a modern environment that enables recovery in a setting that is appropriate and responsive for all. We are continuing to work with our partners to help make this vision a reality for the Walsall community we support.”
Enabling work has already commenced on site, with the main construction works due to start in October this year. The service is expected to open in spring 2024.