NHS leaders have approved plans which will see the transformation of adult acute inpatient mental health wards for Lambeth residents with facilities moved to a new, fit-for-purpose building at the Maudsley Hospital, in Denmark Hill.
The decision was made by the Governing Body of NHS South East London Clinical Commissioning Group (SEL CCG) on 16 July 2020, after considering feedback from a 12-week NHS public consultation.
The decision means that acute adult inpatient services including four specialist wards and a Psychiatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU), can move from out-of-date, poor quality facilities at Lambeth Hospital, in Landor Road, to a safer, more modern, purpose-built facility at the Maudsley Hospital.
The consultation, which took place from 4 March to 31 May 2020, received 235 responses via a survey, online discussions, focus groups and other meetings with key groups and the public. This followed eight months of pre-consultation engagement by SEL CCG and the South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust with service users, carers, staff and stakeholders.
The majority (84%) of all respondents agreed there was a clear need to make changes to inpatient wards at Lambeth Hospital. The majority (64%) of all respondents also said they were supportive of relocating inpatient beds and services to the Maudsley Hospital site.
A number of issues were raised, including travel and access to the Maudsley, the importance of having a culturally appropriate inpatient care model and the need for ongoing engagement as the plans are implemented. These have informed the recommendations which will be taken forward by South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust.
The consultation findings and recommendations were shared with the Lambeth Together Strategic Board and the Lambeth and Southwark Joint Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee, so that they could give their comments and indicate their support for the proposals before a final decision was made.
The redevelopment of Douglas Bennett House, on the Maudsley Hospital site, has been designed by specialist mental health architects and developed over many years following input and feedback from staff, service users, carers and regulators. The new building will give patients the privacy, dignity and therapeutic environment and will meet national standards by making all wards single-sex, with en-suite bathrooms in all bedrooms, direct unsupervised access to large outdoor balconies and fresh air, family rooms and a multi-faith space. It is hoped that it will improve staff morale, recruitment and retention by creating a better working environment.
A number of other options including refurbishing the existing site, rebuilding on the existing site and rebuilding elsewhere in Lambeth were also considered. These options were not taken forward to public consultation because this would have meant relocating services during construction, causing major disruption for many years and would have needed additional funding of around £30m, making it unsustainable and unrealistic. A planning consultation with the public about the future use of Lambeth Hospital site will be carried out by the Trust this summer.
Welcoming the decision, Dr Adrian Mclachlan, GP Clinical Lead for Lambeth at NHS South East London Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “This was a hugely important decision to urgently improve the facilities for our patients in Lambeth. It forms a vital part of our wide-reaching plans to improve mental healthcare including community and home-based services and ensure that our patients receive the most appropriate care in the most appropriate setting, with buildings and facilities they and our NHS staff deserve.
Dr Di Aitken, GP Clinical Lead for Lambeth at NHS South East London Clinical Commissioning Group said: “Thank you to everyone who shared their views with us which has helped our decision-making and informed a number of recommendations which will be progressed as part of the next phase of planning by the Trust. We have listened closely to patients and carers, staff and the wider community and believe these proposals will deliver the best quality mental health care for service users in Lambeth.”
David Bradley Chief Executive at the South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust, said:
“This is a significant and exciting step forward in our vision to transform inpatient facilities and create a modern, fit for purpose, therapeutic environment which our patients deserve so we can deliver world class mental healthcare in the 21st century.
“We would like to thank everyone who took part in the consultation. There is clear support for this vital improvement and we have listened to the feedback and are already developing plans to address some of the issues raised and will ensure we continue to engage on our plans as the project moves forward.”