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New hospital plans unveiled for local community to give their feedback

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Camden and Islington NHS Foundation Trust is inviting people who live and work near the Whittington Hospital to view drawings and plans for its new mental health hospital in Highgate. They are being asked for their views before the Trust applies to the local authority for full planning permission.

The Trust plans to relocate the inpatient wards from St Pancras Hospital to a new purpose-built facility on land it has bought on the Whittington Hospital site, opposite the Highgate Mental Health Centre, its existing inpatient facility. Work to build the new hospital will begin in summer 2020 and complete in late 2022.

The move is to address the ageing hospital buildings at St Pancras. A Care Quality Commission report, published in June 2016, stated that the wards require significant improvement. Even with a large investment to upgrade and then maintain the buildings, they would not meet the modern standards the Trust wants for service users and those set out by the Department of Health and Social Care.

Trust Medical Director, Dr Vincent Kirchner said: “To deliver on what service users and carers have told us they want in the new facility and what we know supports recovery and wellbeing, the new facility will have a gym, dedicated space on each floor for therapeutic activities, a family visiting room, a spiritual/faith space, sensory rooms and a café for people to meet and socialise.

The age and condition of the buildings at St Pancras make it difficult and costly for us to maintain health, safety and accessibility standards. But there are many reasons why these buildings are no longer fit for purpose.

“Having your own room and bathroom, access to outside space and areas for therapeutic activities are important when recovering from a mental illness. Many bedrooms at St Pancras Hospital are shared, easy access to outdoor space from most wards isn’t possible, space for activities is limited and ongoing major construction in the area, with more and more tall buildings overlooking the site, means it is increasingly difficult to provide a calm, therapeutic and private environment for recovery.”

A full, formal public consultation took place between July and October 2018 and findings showed strong overall support for proposals to build a new hospital on the Whittington site. The Trust was given the go-ahead to progress its plans last December and since then it has been meeting with its staff, service users and their carers to discuss requirements of the new building. Drawings of the plans will be shared with local people on 9 and 16 September 2019.

How you can give us your views

You are invited to see the plans and give your feedback. Trust representatives and the architect will be available to answer any questions you may have. Please feel free to drop-in to one of the events below at a time that is convenient for you:

Monday 9 September, 2pm to 7pm, Room 4, Education Centre, Whittington Hospital

Monday 16 September, 2pm to 7pm, Room 4, Education Centre, Whittington Hospital

For more information about how Camden and Islington NHS Foundation Trust is redeveloping its estate, please visit www.candi.nhs.uk

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