Work on Preston mental health rehabilitation unit completed

Royal Preston Hospital facility on track for opening despite coronavirus lockdown

The Skylark Centre will help people with mental health problems to return to independent living

Construction work on a new mental health rehabilitation unit at the Royal Preston Hospital has been completed.

Conlon Construction and Frank Whittle Partnership (FWP) have finished developing The Skylark Centre, which will help patients recovering from mental health conditions regain skills associated with day-to-day living.

Commissioned by Lancashire and South Cumbria NHS Foundation Trust, the centre features 11 beds and will help work to rebuild abilities such as cooking, cleaning, laundry care and shopping, as well as returning to employment.

Lorraine McDonald-Johnson, care group manager for transformation in the trust’s Mental Health Network, said: “Supporting the practical road to recovery and helping to build confidence following a mental health condition is just as important as providing care and medication to treat the illness.”

FWP’s specialist mental health team co-ordinated the design work, including the interiors.

The design uses colour and natural light to create a calming atmosphere

David Simmons, the firm’s associate partner and interior designer, said: “We were tasked with delivering a robust and safe environment for patients, while also maintaining a domestic feel to the unit.

“One of our main aims was to improve the patient experience and we’ve done that through thoughtful modern design and the use of colour and light to create a calming and peaceful atmosphere.

“There’s a woodland theme running through much of the work, which gives an added air of tranquillity and a spacious feel to the whole area.

“We think we’ve delivered something special, which is far removed from people’s traditional view of a hospital unit.”

A woodland theme runs throughout the building

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