A major milestone has been reached in the construction of a brand new mental health inpatient facility in Highgate with a “topping-out” ceremony last week. The 78-bed facility will replace the ageing inpatient wards at St Pancras Hospital and provide an environment that supports the recovery of service users.
When it opens, in October 2023, Highgate East will form a campus with Highgate Mental Health Centre, improving the way that clinical cover is organised and how facilities are managed.
The facility will offer all single en suite rooms, outdoor space from each ward, therapy spaces, plus a sports hall and café which will be open to the public as part of a move to destigmatise mental health and ensure a more inclusive approach.
Speaking at the “topping-out” ceremony service user, Carmen Barlow, said: “The designers have listened to the views of service users and as a result Highgate East will provide a calming and relaxed environment that will support recovery. Physical exercise is also crucial, and I am delighted that a gym forms part of the building plans.”
Jinjer Kandola MBE, Camden and Islington NHS Trust Chief Executive said: “Our transformation programme will improve impatient and community facilities for service users in Islington and Camden. In planning the design of the Highgate East building we have listened to our service users, staff, and the wider community.
“Highgate East will care for our service users and provide a valuable community asset with a café and gym open to the public. This will be a place where everyone is welcome, and everyone is respected.The inpatient services which will move to Highgate East are currently based at St Pancras Hospital in buildings that were never designed to provide modern-day care. It is vital that we care for people in a modern, therapeutic environment that is not only inspiring but also reflects the high standards of care that our staff provide.”
Gavin Pantlin, Construction Director at BAM said: “This is a massive milestone for the project. Topping out on the programme is a huge achievement for the whole team given the challenges that come with building on a small site. BAM are extremely proud to be involved in such an important project, one that will deliver a purpose-built community mental healthcare facility for C&I’s service users and the wider community. We look forward to October 2023 when the building will officially open.”