back to news

Work progresses at The Derwent Centre

The first section of works at the £14.5million Derwent mental health unit has now been occupied. The project includes the remodelling, refurbishment and extension of the existing building at the Princess Alexandra Hospital site in Harlow, Essex. The completed scheme will revolutionise the model of care provision of the unit benefiting from:

• Erection of an additional 3700m2,  four storey extension to the unit in a modern aesthetic to significantly improve the image of the Derwent Centre

•Provision of 30 new ensuite anti-ligature patient bedrooms and 2 dedicated disabled bedrooms with ensuite shower rooms, replacing outmoded dormitory accommodation.

•Segregated male & female wards, each with dedicated dining room, kitchen and separate day areas, plus additional lounges and interview/care review rooms.

•Relocation of acute ward to ground floor to give direct access to secure garden. Wards arranged ‘back-to-back’ to allow variation in capacity between wards, and allow staff in adjacent ward to render assistance in an emergency. New nurse call system.

•New centralised 460m2 first floor recreational ‘hub’ area together with kitchen servery, therapy rooms, library, quite zones and sensory rooms, to improve patient interaction and recovery.

•Over 100 new secure double glazed windows with patient controlled ventilation in secure bedrooms.

•Over 200 new heavy duty, fire-rated doorsets with associated anti-ligature ironmongery, controlled vision panels, card operated access control and door top alarms in vulnerable areas.

•6000 m2 of new floor finishes to meet requirements of durability, health and safety, and infection control

•Over 2000 m2 of insulated render overcladding to improve energy efficient and patient thermal comfort, and meet current building regulations.

•A new 1400m2 curved aluminium roof to replace leaking 1960s flat roof and accommodate new heating and ventilation plant, with all services renewed throughout.

The scheme is due for completion in 2017 with all clinical areas remaining operational throughout the works, and will improve the sustainability, thermal performance, character, appeal and model of care provided by the building.