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32


HEALTHCARE BUILD & DESIGN PROJECT REPORT


VARIETY OF FORM


There are two key buildings on the site – one (centre right of drawing) housing the PICU (Psychiatric Inten- sive Care Unit) and the locked rehabilitation unit and the Transitional Living Unit plus further locked rehab in a linked building (top left). Between them sits the butterfly-roofed gym


L-shaped Dunsmore Ward on the ground floor, which provides 24-hour cover assess- ment, treatment and support for women in crisis, together with its own adjacent locked rehabilitation area. The aim is that follow- ing a risk assessment they will move as soon as possible to the 16 bed locked rehabilita- tion unit above the PICU on the first floor, or the locked (but lower-security) rehabili- tation unit (Middlemarch Ward), offering 17 beds on the ground and first floor of a linked, adjacent building.


The locked rehabilitation service offers what Cygnet Healthcare calls an “extremely wide range of therapies” and tailor-made rehabilitation programmes in collaboration with carers and local teams. There is also a Personality Disorder Unit on the first floor offering a range of therapeutic interventions such as Dialectical Behavioural Therapy and Schema Focused Therapy. The ‘pathway’ concludes with the


Transitional Living Unit found on the second and third floors of the linked build- ing also housing the ground / first floor locked rehab, with seven individual, self- contained flats. With staff support tailored to each service user’s need, the facilities in this area have been designed to increase their chances of successfully reintegrating


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into the community upon discharge. Despite the aim of providing a greater degree of independence, the normal security provi- sions you would expect are present, as David Whitehead explains: “There is still anti-ligature ironmongery and anti- barricade doors to minimise risks wherever possible.”


A narrow gateway


Director at Tangram Architects David Whitehead describes the site as “quite complicated,” and it certainly had its challenges, its 1.3 acres hemmed in by terraced Victorian housing to the north and east, and major arterial road Sky Blue Way to the south. Beyond squeezing 56 beds plus the normal support spaces and a gym onto this brownfield site, there was the separate challenge of installing a sensitive psychiatric unit in a prominent, urban location without compromising residents or service users. Project architect Alex Smith says: “The site is very complex, some of the mental health schemes we work on are on green- field sites, and they have their own constraints, but it’s not like a building in the middle of an urban context.” Despite the challenges, the relatively prominent nature of the site for such a development was


ADF JULY 2017


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