Work progressing on multi-million Norwich mental health inpatient facility

IHP says that the development of three new ‘state-of-the-art’ wards, and refurbishment of two existing wards at The Rivers Centre, Hellesdon Hospital in Norwich for Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust has ‘taken an exciting step forward’

The VINCI Building and Sir Robert McAlpine joint venture company has begun the next phase of work delivering the steel that will form part of the structural frame of the new building, having spent the last few weeks clearing and preparing the site. Earlier this year the Trust secured £38 m in national capital funding to modernise inpatient mental healthcare at the site. The funding, alongside £11.7 m of NSFT investment, marks the single largest capital investment to improve facilities at the Trust.

IHP said: “This much-needed investment will deliver modern, purpose-built environments for people who need specialist inpatient mental healthcare. It will also provide additional capacity, allowing the Trust to support a further 15 working age adults needing hospital care.

The additional bed capacity will reduce the current high dependency on out-of-area and independent sector placements for local people who need inpatient mental healthcare, treatment, and support.  It will provide a much-improved environment compared with the existing ward environments being replaced, which suffer from poor lighting, a lack of quiet space, and poor access to outside spaces – issues which have been previously highlighted as part of CQC inspections.”

Cath Byford, the Trust’s Deputy Chief Executive and Chief People Officer, said: “It is great to see our plans coming to life on this much-needed development for out Trust and those we provide care for. I’d like to thank everyone involved in this project – staff, those who use our services, and our project partners. The continuing hard work, passion, and dedication from all involved really is starting to show as we begin this exciting next phase of building work.”

The new wards are expected to be open for the first patients to receive care in Autumn 2024. Architects are Murphy Philipps, engineers, JP Chick and Partners, and project management and quantity surveyors, Castons.

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