In May 2014, five months after the new St Bernard’s medium secure unit (MSU) was approved by the Department of Health, the trust celebrated the laying of the final foundation stone. Now, with just 18 months to go until building hand over, contractors Kier will be focusing on completing construction work, so that following a staff orientation period, service users will be able to move in in early 2016.
To help fund these improvements, the trust will be selling off some of the land and buildings it no longer uses for the provision of NHS care. Find out more.
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.
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 early 2016.
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. The document, which explains the rationale behind the project, its timescales and implementation, then went to the DH.
December 2013 saw the DH approve the full business case (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. These changes 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 previously located in buildings at the front of the site which have now been sold.
Now that the final foundations have been laid, Kier, our contractors, will continue to construct the new MSU which will be ready to house service users early 2016.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.