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35


BUILDING PROJECTS


MITFORD AUTISM INPATIENT UNIT MORPETH, NORTHUMBERLAND


Challenging stereotypes


The deceptively simple look of a pioneering new autism inpatient unit belies the highly complex set of spaces within, painstakingly designed for a very specific clinical need and helping patients return to the community. James Parker reports


its kind, and a building designed to tackle a very specific challenge. The residential unit serves adults with severely complex autistic spectrum disorders, for which a new healthcare methodology has emerged which looks beyond managing their conditions for the long-term in NHS facilities to a much greater focus on helping them move back into the community.


M


itford autism inpatient unit in Morpeth, Northumberland, is the first purpose-built care facility of


Due to the nature of the patients’ condi-


tions, the unit is a particularly resource- hungry one, and this was one of the challenges for the Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust and its architect, Medical Architecture. Despite the practice’s solid credentials from designing several notable mental health schemes, and its client being one of the UK’s largest mental health trusts, this project was demanding to say the least.


The unit at Northgate Hospital was ADF JANUARY 2018 WWW.ARCHITECTSDATAFILE.CO.UK


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