Topping-out ceremony held at site of new mental health facilities

By Jo Makosinski | Published: 9-Oct-2023

Construction milestone for Derbyshire inpatient units

Integrated Health Projects (IHP), the joint venture between VINCI Building and Sir Robert McAlpine, celebrated the topping out of Derbyshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust’s new mental health facilities in Chesterfield and Derby last week.

Mark Powell, trust chief executive, Simon Corben, director and head of profession for NHS Estates and Facilities at NHS England; and Geoff Neild, programme director for the Making Room for Dignity Programme, attended the event held at Derby Kingsway Hospital alongside members of the project team.

In a traditional ceremony dating back to the Roman era, a bagpiper led the guests to the rooftop where IHP works manager, Mick Murphy, nailed an evergreen bough to the structure, did a symbolic concrete pour, and presented a tankard to Neild for a ‘job well done’.

Making room for dignity

The pioneering new mental health facilities are being delivered as part of the trust’s £150m Making Room for Dignity Programme – a project using a blend of central, regional, and trust funding to completely revamp the county’s mental health inpatient facilities.

The works include the Derwent Unit, a 54-bed mental health facility for adult acute care at Chesterfield Royal Hospital; and the Carsington Unit, another 54-bed mental health adult facility and 14-bed Psychiatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) at Kingsway Hospital in Derby.

Every room across both facilities will be en-suite and temperature controlled, with the facilities also including a shared therapy suite, kitchen, indoor fitness room, online library resource room, arts room, and access to a secured roof terrace and garden for wards on the first floor. 

James Beardmore, project manager at IHP, said: “We are proud to celebrate this significant milestone for these important projects and the exemplary collaboration demonstrated by the project team.

“We look forward to delivering these adult acute care facilities for the trust’s ambitious Making Room for Dignity Programme.

“Once completed, they will greatly improve mental healthcare services across the region.”

Closer to home

Neild added: “The Derwent Unit at Chesterfield and Carsington Unit at Derby form the backbone of our dormitory eradication programme, giving each service user their own en-suite bedroom.

“For those service users from Derbyshire requiring intensive psychiatric care there is currently no provision within the county and our service users are currently placed in out-of-area facilities.

“This has a huge impact on the ability of family and loved ones to provide support at a time when it is often most needed.

“Kingfisher House will provide a 14-bedded unit meeting the needs of male service users in Derbyshire.

“Along with the newly-refurbished Audrey House, the trust can meet the majority of the needs of both male and female service users requiring high-acuity facilities.

“I am delighted that these new facilities will give staff, service users, family, and friends fantastic settings in which to deliver, or receive, therapeutic care and support.”

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