The application for the Millbrook Mental Health Unit, located on the King's Mill Hospital site in Sutton is part of a wider vision to restructure mental health care in Nottinghamshire.
Under the current plans, care for general adult mental health care would be moved elsewhere and the unit would become a specialist care facility for older people with dementia and those suffering from severe mental health conditions.
The site would care for residents as inpatients but would also house community mental health teams who would work with residents in their own homes, a report on behalf of Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust (NHFT) states.
The application is asking for approval of four separate extensions at the 35-year-old unit, as well as internal alterations to remove all ‘dormitory’ accommodation, to allow residents more privacy and dignity.
Under the plans, a total of 46 en-suite bedrooms, assisted bedrooms, dining rooms and communal areas would be created – as well as an upgrade to exterior landscaping to enhance care facilities.
The report states: “The proposed works for the wards are designed to introduce natural privacy and dignity for patients by appropriately locating rooms with functional relationships in adjourning areas, from core patient accommodation areas at one end of the ward to therapy and day functions and general ward functions at the other end; to undertaking extensions to the existing footprint in order to form suitably sized single en suite bedroom accommodation and safe bathing and toilet facilities.”
The move is being put forward as a way of tackling a predicted spiral in mental health within older people in the years ahead around Nottinghamshire, with the over-70s set to comprise 18 per cent of the population by 2039 – compared with 13 per cent presently.
The report states: “ An increase in the over 75 years age group is likely to mean that the needs of the patient group will be complex with a higher degree of frailty – this is part of the workforce planning to ensure that staff have the appropriate skills to care for patients with multiple morbidities whilst they are in services. This will include proactive care in the community to reduce avoidable admissions to hospital.”
Inpatient mental health beds are also currently located at Bassetlaw Hospital, in Worksop, and Highbury Hospital, in Nottingham.
The report states: “As part of wider works to eradicate dormitories in Mental Health premises (both a government ambition and general good practice) Adult Mental Health Services are moving from the Millbrook site into a new location.
“This has provided an opportunity to achieve the existing aim of eradicating the Mental Health Services for Older People dormitories and will consolidate the services and provide a specialist MHSOP Hub to enable NHFT to provide flexible and responsive services for an increasingly complex patient group.
“The current building is almost 35 years old and the ward design does not lend itself to modern mental health care.”
The application will be considered by Ashfield District Council at a later date.