Broadmoor Hospital Redevelopment
Just over 150 years ago Broadmoor Hospital first opened its doors to receive its first patient. Today as a result of its Victorian infrastructure, maintenance costs and the rapid modernisation of mental health care services, many of the current buildings are becoming increasingly unfit for purpose. To address this, in 2013, West London Mental Health NHS Trust, which is responsible for the management of the hospital, was granted permission to redevelop the high secure facility. The announcement of this decision was swiftly followed by an extensive main contractor selection process, culminating in Kier being awarded the contract and arriving on site, to reconstruct the historic hospital in 2014.
The long overdue upgrade will see the opening of the £242 million, 32500m2 brand new hospital towards the end of next year. This spacious, modern, therapeutic environment with its bright, wide corridors, large glass wall panels and CCTV will put an end to the necessary long periods of supervision and observation currently required, providing staff with more time to interact with patients and offer additional therapeutic activities.
As well as making T shaped corridors, which are often very difficult to observe, a thing of the past; natural light and ventilation were top priorities in the service led design specification. This has resulted in each ward building roof being capped with four large Velux windows alongside smaller light apertures, creating bright well ventilated areas throughout the hospital. Angled bedroom windows not only enhance illumination and provide tranquil views out onto the English countryside, but also enhance privacy and allow patients to adjust their own ventilation. Every ward has also been fitted out with its own small fitness area and garden, reducing the need for sharing and outdoor access restrictions associated with the current estate.
The three new ward buildings providing space for 210 patients and 24 decant beds, are strategically placed around the Central Building, easily identified by its iconic stained glass window designed with input from patients and the chaplaincy. Central Building will form the main hub for patient treatment, therapy and activities as well as additional office space for administrative staff. In the existing hospital, patient therapies are distributed around different areas of the site, so often have to work in isolation. The new design not only fosters service integration, but where appropriate, means patients will be able to attend therapy sessions within the building unescorted.
This configuration has been introduced to strengthen and support the hospital’s new clinical model, which aims to offer each patient a structured daily programme, encouraging them to take part in at least 25 hours meaningful activity every week, whilst setting out a clear, measurable care pathway and promoting recovery. Housing the patient café, shop, workshops and physical healthcare suite, this resource is accessible across the Central Garden which will provide a trim trail, outside exercise equipment and quiet seating areas. This landscape, made up of a formal layout with informal planting offers patients a therapeutic, natural route when travelling to and from activities.
The buildings are not the only things changing as the hospital transfers into the 21st century. Hospital staff are being encouraged to use this project as a perfect opportunity to examine existing working practices and look at what changes and improvements can be brought in to maximise the benefits provided by the new environment. Ward multi-disciplinary team offices making doctors, psychologists and occupational therapists much more accessible to patients, specific ward visiting areas and the possibility of evenings and weekend therapies and workshops are all some of the ideas being explored.
David Phillips, redevelopment programme director, said: “Over the years, Broadmoor Hospital has come a long way. From the first purpose built high secure hospital in the world; to what is about to become one of the most modern psychiatric facilities in the country. It has been a real team effort, with involvement from a wide range of stakeholders each giving their input on everything from sample garden layouts and inspirational art work to flame retardant curtains and ceiling heights. Whilst people’s views and ideas have often differed, what’s very clear, as we approach completion is that we were all working together towards the design and development of what will be a fantastic hospital; which will not only respond to the future needs of our patients, staff and commissioners, but also allow the trust to maintain its reputation as a leading provider of high secure mental health care for many years to come.”