Work starts on £42m mental health centre in Hertfordshire

Mental health and learning disabilities facility designed to provide therapeutic environment to enhance recovery

Building work has started on a new £42m state-of-the-art mental health and learning disabilities centre for Hertfordshire at Kingsley Green, near Radlett.

Contractor, civil engineering and property services company, Osborne, is the main contractor for the project, which is being commissioned by Hertfordshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust.

The centre, designed as a therapeutic environment for adults experiencing a mental health crisis, will have en-suite single bedrooms for everyone who stays there – 86 rooms in total. There will also be courtyard gardens for active recreation and quiet reflection, a shop and café, and treatment and therapy areas.

The building, which reflects international best practice, has been designed with the input of service users and carers to provide a supportive and recovery-focused environment. It will have lounges and quiet spaces where service users can relax, make themselves snacks and drinks, and meet visitors.

Andrew Osborne, chairman of Osborne, said: “As a deputy for my sister under the Mental Capacity Act I am well aware that mental health is largely neglected by society despite the impact it has on so many of us. It deserves so much better, which is why this start on site is such an exciting event.

“We have worked with Hertfordshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust since 2007 developing the psychiatric intensive care unit and the child and adolescent mental health services unit as well. The consistency of this approach and the teamwork involved has meant that we have been able to build strong bonds of mutual understanding, trust and common goals and work together as a true partnership.

“A huge amount of work has gone into getting us to this point. We can now take the next step towards making the vision a reality and help deliver a better facility that will make a positive and lasting difference to the lives of service users and their carers.”

As part of the project, Innovaré Systems is providing large format structural insulated panels to speed up installation time and improve airtightness and thermal bridging.

The first phase of the building is expected to be complete by summer 2014.

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