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Medium secure unit scale model

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Land sales at St Bernard’s

As part of an £18 million deal, West London NHS Mental Health NHS Trust has sold some of the disused buildings and land at St Bernard’s Hospital to commercial property developers Catalyst and Westcombe. The money raised will be used to partly fund the £60 million improvement programme currently underway on the site, which will provide fit for purpose patient accommodation, secure the long-term future of mental health services in Ealing and allow the trust to use its estate much more effectively.

This sale is the first of a three phase programme and will see the trust sell other parts of the site’ which over the years have become unfit for purpose and surplus to NHS healthcare requirements. Phase one includes the sale of some of the most iconic parts of the site such as the chapel, Windmill Lodge and the Gatehouse. Some of these buildings are grade II listed so will retain their historic appearance and place in the community while others will be converted or demolished to make way for five new residential apartment blocks, creating 270 new homes on the site.

Completing the contract, Eric Munro, director of capital, estates and facilities said: “The redevelopment of this site will make such a difference to the trust. As the buildings sold could no longer be used for NHS treatments or services, this sale will ensure the trust and its service users continue to benefit from the money raised for many years to come.”

Where is the St Bernard’s Hospital site?

St  Bernard’s Hospital is in Southall, west London, next door to Ealing Hospital. It’s currently home to our medium and low secure forensic services, as well as inpatient wards for the London Borough of Ealing and a number of other community based services. The Trust’s headquarters is also based on this site.

What’s happening?

Over the next few years, the St Bernard’s Hospital site will undergo a major redevelopment. This will result in modern, well constructed buildings, designed to support the high quality care we provide today, with the flexibility to meet the needs of our patients and services in the future.

You can see the proposed site plans here.

In addition, we will be stepping up the transformation work we began a few years ago. To help us achieve this, we’ll be looking at the way local services are currently provided and seeing what alterations can be made to ensure these are being provided in the best way possible, as well as assessing what patient improvements we can introduce to make the best use of our resources.

Why are you redeveloping the site?

As well as our drive to continuously improve the services we offer, one of the main reasons for the proposed redevelopment of St Bernard’s is to upgrade the sites infrastructure. This will allow us to respond to concerns raised by our commissioners and move all medium secure patients out of the Tony Hillis Wing by 2015.

What’s happened so far?

The Trust is looking at various redevelopment projects at St Bernard’s which will improve the site. So far, most of our progress has been made with our plans to construct to a new MSU.

In April 2012, the Chief Executive’s report announced that the trust board had agreed to the construction of an 80 bed medium secure unit (MSU) on the existing John Conolly Wing site – as its preference for the redevelopment of St Bernard’s.

This proposal was put forward in our outline business case (OBC), which was approved by NHS London, our strategic health partners, in August 2012. This document is now with the DH and explains the rationale behind the project, its timescales and implementation.

December 2013 saw the DH approve the FBC for this project, which meant work to construct the new MSU could begin.

In preparation for construction of the new building, the trust began looking at and preparing alternative accommodation for the patients and services. This has included upgrading Glyn Ward (now Jubilee ward) to accommodate older people’s services, embarking on a £3 million refurbishment of B Block (now Wolsey wing) for local services, and moving the Psychiatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) to Hammersmith amongst other relocations.

Throughout the next year, there will also be a number of additional moves to prepare the site  for the wider redevelopment of St Bernard’s. This will allow us to make better use of NHS resources, whilst creating more space for clinical services.

What’s happening next?

The refurbishment of the Wolsey wing was completed in April 2013 and staff and service users moved in early May. At the same time, some of our rehabilitation services, such as picture framing, the print shop and the recovery hub moved to commercial premises in west Ealing.

Moving rehabilitation services off site means service users gain real life work experience, such as dealing with the public and working with customers. Summer 2013 saw the trust move its entire corporate staff off of the St Bernard’s site to Armstrong Way in Southall.

Our redevelopment team also continues to work closely with service leads, staff and patients to identify suitable, alternative accommodation for other local services, and those currently located in buildings at the front of the site earmarked for sale to raise vital funding for future site redevelopment.

This exercise will shortly be completed and later this year we will be moving onto the second phase of the St Bernard’s redevelopment, which will include land sales.

How can I find out more or get involved?

The redevelopment of St Bernard’s will see the biggest improvements in mental health services on the Ealing site for a number of years. So, it’s important that everyone has the chance to have their say and tell us how they think we can make our services better for the local community.

As well as attending our open days and other community events around the borough, you can send us your views or join our mailing list by emailing us at redevelopment.team@wlmht.nhs.uk.

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