Sutton mental health hospital could be rebuilt

Millbrook Mental Health Unit in Sutton. Image by Google
Millbrook Mental Health Unit in Sutton. Image by Google

A Nottinghamshire healthcare trust is considering a proposal to rebuild an ‘outdated’ hospital site in Sutton.

Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust is developing a proposal to rebuild Millbrook Mental Health Unit as part of wider plans to increase capacity in the region.

Papers discussed by the trust’s board, reveal that the “old style” hospital does not meet modern standards.

They state: “Initial scoping suggests it is not viable to modify the existing Millbrook wards and that a rebuild would be required.

“This will therefore be a slower stream of work as it is likely to entail a major capital programme and may require public consultation.”

The board papers state that a plan for the work will be developed over the summer before being presented for approval in September.

Paul Smeeton, executive director for local services at Nottinghamshire Healthcare, explained more about the proposal.

He said: “Nottinghamshire Healthcare is keen to ensure that its inpatient accommodation meets the latest standards as defined by the Care Quality Commission.

“The Millbrook unit has provided many years of service but was designed in a different time to a different standard.

“The Trust has adapted it over the years but it is now an outdated design.

“The trust is committed to ensuring that there is a local mental health inpatient facility for the population of central Nottinghamshire and is now undertaking the work to understand what a new facility might look like and what it might cost.”

Healthwatch Nottingham and Nottinghamshire has welcomed the trust’s decision to increase the number of adult mental health beds.

A spokesman said: “It would appear that these plans are at a very formative stage, however we would support the aspiration to reduce our of area placements.

“Healthwatch are keen to see the number of out of area placements reduced. We know through our work in speaking to people across our area who have experienced out of area placements, or their carers, that often this can impact upon their recovery.

“We also know that investing in community provision and prevention is also a priority and we would hope to see that plans are reflective of this in an effort to address inpatient care demand.”

Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust is looking at ways of increasing the number of inpatient beds available to treat adults with ill mental health after it spent £6.4m on sending patients for treatment elsewhere in 2017/18.

The trust currently has 152 beds available at sites across Nottinghamshire but papers discussed at its board meeting on Thursday (June 28) reveal that work by local clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) predict that 170 could be required by 2020.

Nottinghamshire Healthcare, which will have 157 beds in September following the conversion of a former psychiatric intensive care unit, is developing a business case to increase provision in the Nottingham city area.

More when we have it.