Greater Manchester Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust (GMMH) has moved a step closer to building a landmark, state-of-the-art mental health facility as the Outline Business Case was formally supported and approved by the Trust’s Board of Directors.

The Board formally approved IHP (the joint venture between VINCI Construction UK and Sir Robert McAlpine) as GMMH’s Principal Supply Chain Partner for the project. IHP specialise in comprehensive design, construction and facilities management. IHP are extremely experienced in delivering healthcare solutions and were pivotal in delivering the Manchester Nightingale 750-bedded hospital in just 13 days.

This progress is a welcome development in replacing the current mental health accommodation in North Manchester which is no longer appropriate for modern mental healthcare. Inpatients are currently cared for in dormitory-style environments which is unsupportive of people’s privacy and dignity.

The Outline Business Case outlines the benefits of the new unit, by providing a therapeutic and recovery-focussed environment, with more opportunities to deliver innovative, high quality care. This will help reduce the length of stay, allowing more patients to receive care closer to home.

Neil Thwaite, Chief Executive of GMMH said, “We really welcome the support we have received today to progress this ambitious project which we have wanted to embark on ever since we acquired the services in Manchester back in 2017. Despite the substantial investments we have made to ensure we can offer the best care possible in the current environment, we can now work towards providing vastly improved facilities which directly benefits service users, their families and carers and our staff.

“Our staff do a fantastic job and the new unit will allow them to spend more time working with and caring for service users without having to find time-consuming and limiting work-arounds due to the constraints of the environment.

“Whilst this is a great step forward, it is just the start of the journey to develop detailed designs, which needs the input of our current service users, their carers, the wider public and our staff. We will offer as many opportunities to get involved in this project as possible, so that the building is a result of collaboration and co-production.”

The new facility will take 2 years to build and could be open by autumn 2023, subject to approval of the Full Business Case by NHS England & Improvement. It will offer 150 beds on the North Manchester General Hospital site. This is a significant milestone in the wider regeneration and redevelopment of the whole North Manchester site. GMMH will now continue to further develop the building proposals and commence work on the Full Business Case.


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