Preview of new £20 million new mental health hospital

Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust welcomed the local media and VIP guests to preview its new £20 million mental health hospital in Southport to coincide with World Mental Health Day on 10 October.

"It’s ‘our’ hospital" says service user design champion, Don Bryant

View a short film of the day here on Twitter:


Invited guests including the Mayor of Sefton Cllr June Burns today got a chance to tour the state of the art Hartley Hospital, being built off Scarisbrick New Road. It will provide the town’s inpatient and community mental health services co-located for the first time in a modern therapeutic environment.


During the preview day guests were able to see some of the 40 single en suite bedrooms, day areas and garden courtyards, ahead of the first phase of completion. The first ward will move in mid-November to provide care for older adults and the whole hospital will be fully operational in March 2020.


During the preview Executive Director of Estates at Mersey Care, Elaine Darbyshire, outlined Mersey Care’s vision for improving its NHS estate and how that fits in with the trust’s ambition of Perfect Care. World Mental Health Day’s theme is suicide prevention and Mersey Care is working hard to raise awareness through its association with the Zero Suicide Alliance.


Chief Operating Officer for Mersey Care’s Local Services, Donna Robinson said she was delighted to see Hartley Hospital approaching phase one completion and this is the latest and second major mental health hospital development to take place in Merseyside in the past 4 years.


Service User and Carer representative Don Bryant explained how patients and their families have been involved in every step of the development of Hartley Hospital. Service users are also Design Champions helping contribute ideas and feedback to Mersey Care and its architects and builders to produce the best possible environments for a new generation of mental health hospitals.


Representing construction partner Farran Heron Joint Venture, Regional Director Cathal Heron summarised the Hartley Hospital build and gave a project update. This is their second major new build with Mersey Care following the opening of Clock View Hospital in 2015.


Executive Director of Estates at Mersey Care, Elaine Darbyshire, said: “We are nearing the end of a long journey which has involved service users, carers, staff and partner organisations in designing a world class health facility fit for the 21st century.


“Thanks to support from our local commissioners and health partners we will soon see this first major phase of construction coming to an end. We can press on with the final fit out before moving in the first patients in November and ensuring the hospital is fully operational by March 2020.” 


The new build will give a fresh lease of life to the historic hospital site on the corner of Curzon Road and Southport’s main A570 road into the town centre. Hartley Hospital will replace Mersey Care’s existing Boothroyd Unit located there and due for demolition under phase two, as well as nearby Hesketh Centre, which will close once the new facility is complete.

The hospital will combine local mental health inpatient care and related community services. All 40 bedrooms will all be single with en suite bathrooms and patients will have access to inner garden courtyards, therapy and activity areas. There will be a short-term assessment suite, on-site café for patients, visitors and staff, a family visiting room, sacred space, gym, suite of offices and outpatient services.

The name for Hartley Hospital pays tribute to the heritage of the previous Southport General Infirmary site and nearby former Christiana Hartley Maternity Unit. Christiana Hartley, the daughter of famous jam-making magnate Sir William Pickles Hartley who set up his factory in Liverpool, was also Southport’s first woman Mayor and a health and social reformer a century ago. The name was chosen after public consultation.




For further information please contact:

Graham Hignett Communications Manager 0151 473 2870 email or John Rowbotham on 0151 478 6589 or call the Communications Team on 0151 471 2336.


Mersey Care Fact File

During 2018/19 Mersey Care:

  • provided care, treatment and support through its mental health, secure and specialist learning disability services to 39,190 service users and its Community Services Division received 166,782 distinct referrals
  • provided services from 124 sites both of its own and premises rented from others
  • had 766 inpatient beds as at 31 March 2019 
  • had 1,864,968 outpatient attendances, community contacts or domiciliary visits.


(Statistics based on audited figures for 2018/19)