Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust has welcomed a decision by Sefton Council’s Planning Committee to build a new 40-bed specialist hospital for people with learning disabilities at Maghull Health Park, Merseyside.
Outline planning permission was approved yesterday (1 July) that paves the way for a state of the art hospital building that will provide short to medium term care for patients across the region. The decision follows a series of public sessions held last September by Mersey Care and Turley national planning and development consultancy over proposals to co-locate it with a range of secure mental health services already on the Maghull site.
Mersey Care’s Executive Director of Estates Elaine Darbyshire said: “Maghull has a long and living history of hospitals providing mental healthcare dating back more than a century, so we’re delighted to be building on that tradition.
“This new hospital represents significant investment of £33 million that will offer world class care in a therapeutic environment. It will also enable us to work with sector partners to provide a new model of care for complex patients across the North West.
“We're grateful to Sefton Council, other local representatives and health partners for enabling us to proceed to the next phase in this exciting new-build programme. Ultimately it will also cement the future of Maghull Health Park as a centre of excellence, as well as help boost the local economy and jobs.”
Outline planning consent was granted to build a low secure unit on land off Villas Road, which is on the community facing edge of Maghull Health Park owned by Mersey Care. The site has good transport links across the region, situated off School Lane close to the M58 junction and Maghull North Station. The new hospital will be nearby Mersey Care centralised support services, conference and training centre, as well as longstanding facilities and newer developments including the forthcoming Rowan View medium secure unit, making the site Maghull’s biggest employer.
Next steps include agreeing design, layout and building specification in order to obtain detailed planning permission. Mersey Care will also go through a lengthy process to assure NHS England and Improvement that it has a sound business case for the new hospital however the Government has already committed £33 million to the project, subject to necessary approvals.
A construction contract could be signed by late summer 2021, building work started in autumn 2021 and the hospital completed by spring 2023. A period of testing will then take place before the service becomes fully operational in the summer of 2023.
The new unit will cater for up to 40 men and women with a diagnosis of learning disability, autism and comorbid conditions, needing care and treatment in conditions of a low secure setting. Each patient will have their own bedroom with en-suite bathroom, plus a range of activity areas and therapeutic spaces.
Medical Director for Commissioning in NHS England and NHS Improvement North West, Dr Michael Gregory said: “We have asked Mersey Care to provide a new low secure unit for patients with complex care needs that gives the best modern day standards of accommodation within a new model of care.
"Gaining planning consent is a significant step forward and once the project has met all of its statutory and regulatory objectives we believe this new facility will promote the delivery of high quality care across a range of secure services we commission that reduces the length of stay for patients.”