Work starts on £148m Derbyshire mental health hospital

Work is due to start on new £148.4m mental health facilities in Derbyshire aimed at reducing the number of patients having to travel outside the county for care.

Two new 54-bed inpatient units are to be built in Derby and Chesterfield.

It is hoped they will improve safety, privacy and dignity for psychiatric patients by eliminating dormitory-style accommodation.

The developments are due to open in 2025.

The facilities, at the Derbyshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, are being built in the grounds of Kingsway Hospital, in Derby, and the Chesterfield Royal Hospital.

Former patient Simon Rose, 52, who now works for the trust, contributed to the development of the programme.

He said he had needed inpatient care in 2013 but had to be sent to Harrogate, in North Yorkshire, and spent 14 weeks away from his home in Alfreton, Derbyshire, because there were no suitable local facilities.

“It really impacted on my partner and daughter that they couldn’t see me regularly,” he said.

“As I got closer to going home, it got far more difficult being away.”

He said plans to end dormitory accommodation – which the government intends to phase out across England – were long overdue.

Derbyshire has one of the highest numbers of mental health dormitory-style wards in the country, with 118 out of every 154 patients sharing a four or five-bed dormitory and all service users sharing bathrooms.

“Dormitories are outdated,” Mr Rose said.

“To be at your most unwell and vulnerable and not have privacy and space you can retreat into – it should not be happening.

“A very wise person told me years ago that mental health is a Cinderella service.

“We live on scraps and things are changing, but there is not enough provision.”

The centrepiece of the Derby development is a 14-bed Psychiatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU)

Due to the current lack of an intensive care unit for the most unwell mental health patients in Derby and Derbyshire, patients have had to travel out of the area for care, as far afield as Weston-super-Mare and Bradford.

In 2022, 98 patients requiring intensive care had to be sent outside the area.

Trust chair Selina Ullah said: “These developments will transform local health services, by providing private en-suite bedrooms for acute mental health patients in hospital and by reducing the number of people who need to be cared for outside of Derbyshire.”


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *