Mental health treatment centre approved in Wales

By Jo Makosinski | Published: 27-Mar-2023

Designed by Arcadis IBI Group, the facility mirrors the journey to recovery for patients

A new 73-bed specialist inpatient service unit (SISU) for mental health treatment has received planning approval in Cwmbran, Wales. 

Arcadis IBI Group was appointed by the Aneurin Bevan University Health Board to provide architecture, interior design, and landscape architecture services for the new unit at Grange University Hospital.

Centralising existing services throughout the region to provide optimised healthcare from one location, the unit will treat adults and older people with mental health and learning disabilities in a low-security setting centred on patient care and recovery.

The design concept emphasises patient wellbeing and the process of reintroduction into the community as recovery progresses, with the mostly-single-storey building organised around ‘rings of recovery’ that reflect the clinical journey.

Furthermore, the therapeutic journey is reinforced by the division of the space into wards catering to the specific recovery needs of service users.

And shared office facilities and breakout spaces help dissolve departmental barriers and promote collaboration between staff members. 

Proximity to nature is felt throughout the unit, with each ward providing access to therapeutic outdoor areas, such as a courtyard or recreational green space, while the site itself is located next to a mature line of trees that envelop the building and create a calming atmosphere for patients and staff. 

The design centres on following the patient journey and road to recovery

The design centres on following the patient journey and road to recovery

Environmental health is also prioritised, with the project designed and created in partnership with Kier Construction, AECOM, DSSR Consulting Engineers, Curtins, and The Urbanists to garner a BREEAM ‘Excellent’ sustainability rating.

The design will also qualify it as a Net Zero Carbon building, meeting the NHS Wales Decarbonisation Strategic Delivery Plan, which aims to reduce environmental impact and help address climate change.

Andrew Street, studio principal at Arcadis IBI Group, said: “This new treatment centre has been carefully designed to focus on the needs of service users and staff, creating a therapeutic environment that supports wellness and promotes recovery, while at the same time delivering safety and security.

“Once complete, it will provide dedicated inpatient treatment for adults and older people across the region.”


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