Investing in our Mental Health hospitals for the future

In 2009, following extensive consultation, we agreed to develop three new Mental Health hospitals for people living in Surrey and north east Hampshire. The locations identified were: Guildford, Chertsey and east Surrey. This is a major investment initiative enabling us to provide the latest models of care within hospital environments that are therapeutic and aid recovery.

We plan to:

  • Create respectful places
  • Ensure 24-hour assessment and treatment for all
  • Provide person-centred care based on the needs of each individual
  • Integrate services to ensure access for all and to reduce stigma
  • Improve staff satisfaction

We completed the first phase, a state-of-the-art hospital with therapeutic surroundings, at Farnham Road Hospital, Guildford in December 2015.
On 19 April 2018, our Trust Board approved plans for the second site, paving the way for the redevelopment of the Abraham Cowley Unit located on St. Peter’s Hospital site, Chertsey. The third phase of the plan will see a new hospital or the redevelopment of an existing facility in the east of Surrey.
Collectively, these three developments make up our 24/7 Assessment and Treatment Programme building on the work of our founder organisations to develop purpose-designed facilities.

Phase 1: Farnham Road Hospital, Guildford

Farnham Rd Hospital.jpgFarnham Road Hospital was the first of the new hospitals to be completed, opening in December 2015. The facility provides wards for working age adult mental health services, co-located with the older adult mental health wards and community mental health and drug and alcohol services. The hospital was carefully designed to provide personalised care in a respectful and supportive environment to aid recovery.

It includes:

  • Four wards for adults, all with single bedrooms and en-suite bathrooms to provide people with more privacy and dignity
  • Therapeutic and recreational areas including art and craft rooms, multi-purpose spaces for exercise groups or drama therapy and a fitness room
  • Private, safe gardens and outside spaces accessible for each ward
  • Public areas including gardens and a cafe for everyone to enjoy
  • Facilities for people who are brought in by the police in need of a place of safety (Section 136)
  • A base for our Home Treatment Team who provide intensive support to enable people to be independent within their home environment when they first leave hospital or possibly to prevent a stay in hospital.

The new building is linked to the original, listed Victorian building through a glazed pedestrian walkway and the main entrance is accessed via Bray Road, which is also the access road to and from the car park.

Other services also located on the Farnham Road Hospital site include:

Phase 2: Abraham Cowley Unit, St. Peter’s Hospital, Chertsey

ACU sign 1_WebPic.jpgIn May 2016 we held three public workshops in Chertsey, Cobham and Redhill, to talk to people about our next mental health hospital development for people in Surrey.

Following a presentation by our Chief Medical Officer, Justin Wilson, participants were asked, ‘What requirements would a really good new mental health hospital have?’ This question generated lots of discussion and we collated feedback during each event. The themes arising varied between each workshop but included:

  • Access to services
  • Accessibility/location/transport
  • Additional activities for people in hospital
  • Engaging people who use our services in design
  • Facilities/physical environment
  • Joint working: seamless interface with other services
  • Staff/clinical culture
  • Safety and security

You can read the presentation given at the workshops and the comments made at these events by opening the documents below:

  • New mental health hospital workshop presentation
  • Feedback from people who attended our workshop at Chertsey Hall, Tuesday 17 May
  • Feedback from people who attended our workshop at The Cobham Curve, Tuesday 24 May
  • Feedback from people who attended our workshop at Redhill Methodist Church, Friday 27 May

On 19 April 2018, our Trust Board approved plans to move to the second stage of the programme which will see the redevelopment of the Abraham Cowley Unit on St. Peter’s Hospital site, Chertsey. 

The Abraham Cowley Unit currently has three working age adult wards and one older adult ward. It is also the base for the Home Treatment Team, Psychiatric Liaison Team and Research and Development amongst others. Similarly to Farnham Road Hospital, there are facilities for people who are brought in by police in need of a place of safety (Section 136). However, the Abraham Cowley Unit is an old building and the infrastructure urgently needs updating. We are therefore looking to radically improve the condition of the facility to ensure we provide people with state-of-the-art facilities and therapeutic environments which will really help their recovery. 

Since 2016, the programme team have been working on possible options for this site. The preferred solution is a part redevelopment of the current site coupled with a part new build. The proposal needs to be appraised through our various Trust Boards which make up our governance structure and also requires planning permission. Currently, we anticipate that should the application be successful, we would be able to begin construction work in spring 2020. 

Phase 3: East Surrey Mental Health hospital redevelopment plans

We are concurrently exploring options for phase 3 of the programme which will see us redeveloping or building a new mental health hospital in east Surrey.

At present, Surrey and Borders Partnership and Surrey and Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust have stated their joint ambition to support the development of a Mental Health unit at Redhill hospital, pending release of the land, and are actively working towards achieving that goal. A strategic plan for this option is currently being developed and the aim is to have this plan completed by the end of 2019.