New facilities for mental health patients

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Chief Executive Joe Rafferty and Chairman Beatrice Fraenkel at the clock opening © Mersey Care NHS Trust

Chief Executive Joe Rafferty and Chairman Beatrice Fraenkel at the clock opening © Mersey Care NHS Trust

A new £25 million mental health hospital has opened on the outskirts of Liverpool city centre.

The Clock View Hospital in Walton is designed to improve recovery and well-being of its patients and also to reduce the length of their stays.

The hospital will provide patients with their own room with an en-suite bathroom, access to garden courtyards and activity areas. There will be 80 beds in five wards for patients with depression, anxiety and dementia.

With patients arriving at the end of February, Mersey Care’s media officer Myles Hodgson believes the building’s architecture makes it different from other hospitals.

He told JMU Journalism: “The traditional image of a mental health hospital is a tall, dark red brick building where as this is bright, it’s got high tech design, we’ve introduced something we call ‘memory cabinets’ outside each room which gives their room a bit of individuality. It’s the furthest it could be from an NHS hospital, it almost looks like a private hotel inside. ”

The hospital provides an assessment unit where anyone with mental health issues can go.

Video report by Richard Eves, JMU Journalism TV

Hodgson said: “Mental health experts will decide what to do with them. But, in theory, any type of mental health can be treated there. With the innovation of the design and other practices, our Chief Executive [Joe Rafferty] said he hopes to get it down to about a 28 day stay. This would obviously help with the best use of the beds. But it all depends on the seriousness of the illness of each patient.”

Each patient will receive similar treatment to what they undergo now, but in a brand new, therapeutic environment. Between 2013 and the end of last year, Mersey Care offered care, treatment and support to almost 36,500 service users.

The hospital faces the clock tower, which was once part of an old hospital where The Beatles star Paul McCartney was born.

About Bradd Chambers, JMU Journalism