Investing in our Mental Health hospitals for the future

Delivering high quality care is fundamental to what we do as a trust; we committed to develop three new mental health hospitals in Guildford, Chertsey and east Surrey because we want our inpatient services to provide the very best in modern mental healthcare. Our first hospital at Farnham Road Hospital, Guildford opened in December 2015. Following its completion, our focus moved to the Abraham Cowley Unit (ACU) on the St. Peter’s Hospital site, Chertsey and our hospital to be built in the east of the county. 

We are at an exciting point in the programme. We will still be building two hospitals in Chertsey and east Surrey, but the way in which we can deliver them will be different. Recent developments in land availability and viable decant options have allowed us to investigate new opportunities for how we can deliver an even better solution for the people who use our services, families, carers and our staff, within the financial means available. We will now be able to build a brand new hospital on the St. Peter’s Hospital site, rather than a redevelopment of the ACU and a new hospital in east Surrey. We expect to have completed both hospitals by summer 2025.

A programme of this nature is complex; moving any of our services during the build phase will have to be carefully managed and we believe that these newly available options will provide the least disruption. Further, a programme of this scale must provide value for money; a recent review demonstrated that more cost effective solutions were available to deliver the two hospitals. 

We recognise that building a new hospital is much more than bricks and mortar; clinical involvement and engagement with people with lived experience and carers is fundamental to creating hospitals we can all be proud of. As we move forward, we have streamlined both our clinical guidance and service user and carer engagement to ensure that we deliver a solution which will provide the highest quality of care. 

The programme team now need to progress their assessment of the available options and finalise plans. Commercial negotiations are already underway and we expect to make a further announcement in spring 2020. 

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:

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

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. 

East Surrey Mental Health hospital redevelopment plans

We are concurrently exploring options for redeveloping or building a new mental health hospital in east Surrey.

Programme updates

Issue 1: Winter 2019

Issue 2: Summer 2019