Views of service users and carers
We have held around 20 informal meetings with various service users and carer groups over the spring and early summer. In general, Option Two is the preferred option by a very wide margin and is also the Trust’s preference.
Some service users with direct experience of the St Ann’s site reacted negatively to the possibility of inpatient beds moving there. There was concern about the harder-to-reach location and of the possibility of a merger of the two Trusts if inpatient beds were moved onto the St Ann’s site. Reassurance was given on the latter point that there are currently no plans for a merger.
Concerns were raised by patient groups about inpatient beds being moved away from St Pancras and out of Camden – whether that be to a site in Highgate next to the Whittington or to St Ann’s. However, the ‘trade-off’, which appeared to be accepted by the majority of service users with whom we engaged, was that in order to resource the building of new warm, welcoming and therapeutic inpatient spaces, beds would need to move from the high-cost St Pancras site to one where a new inpatient facility could be affordably built, with a significant proportion of the funds raised being channelled into building two new, improved community facilities – one in Islington and the other in Camden.
Concerns were also raised over the sale of NHS resources, namely the St Pancras site. Mitigation includes the plan to offer some of the land to another NHS provider or public body, as well as sell a portion of the estate for the creation of social housing. It is planned that a minimum of 35% of any housing generated would be for social housing. We would want the developer we appoint to make this proportion as high as possible, consistent with releasing sufficient funds for our plans.
It was explained that all existing services remaining on the St Pancras site would no longer be viable beyond a certain point in time, because without a substantial, additional and continuing stream of finance it would become unaffordable to either maintain and/or replace all our existing St Pancras facilities to ensure they were safe and fit-for-purpose. The site is also, increasingly, being surrounded and overlooked by high-rise buildings which are part of the Kings Cross Development programme. This is an aspect that is only likely to increase, compromising privacy and dignity for inpatients.
In summary, service users have expressed the following:
- Whilst the St Pancras buildings are familiar and well-loved, service users recognise the buildings are not as good as they could be
- Understanding of the financial pressure on the Trust and the financial feasibility of the second option
- Most service users like the central location of the St Pancras estate. However, there was a desire to move to somewhere less noisy and more peaceful than St Pancras
Next steps for stakeholder involvement in shaping how our new facilities will look
Our preferred new inpatient site at Highgate
There are strict rules around many aspects of how inpatient facilities should look, but we will use our service user experts by experience to help with the design wherever we can.
St Pancras Hospital site and our community hubs
- As well as our mental health services, what else would you like to see in the proposed communal areas of the hubs? For example: employment advice; housing support; legal services; training; a café; art space; physical health screening etc
- Apart from the proposed services outlined above, what else would you like to see on the St Pancras site that could benefit local residents?
- Would you like to view and comment on early design proposals?
- Would you prefer simply to be kept updated on any significant developments?
If you have any questions or concerns around the site redevelopment please email: Angela.Boon@communications.nhs.uk