Thames Lodge, a new mental health building at St Bernard’s Hospital in Ealing, west London, has opened its doors to patients.
Designed by David Morley Architects, Thames Lodge is part of the redevelopment programme at St Bernard’s. It sits alongside the existing regional secure unit (RSU) and Wells Unit and is surrounded by a secure perimeter with one single entrance to create the Three Bridges Medium Secure Campus.
Vivienne Mowatt, redevelopment programme director at West London Mental Health NHS Trust, said: “The Medium Secure Unit has been designed to be both safe and inviting, creating a therapeutic environment in which patients can recover and prepare to move on. The new unit contains five wards, all with different colour schemes chosen by service users, which will help people find their way around the new unit.
“This modern 80-bed unit offers a number of benefits which will enhance the wellbeing and recovery of service users. These include individual ward gardens, an onsite primary healthcare suite that provides a range of clinics including a GP and dental services to help manage their physical health and a fully-equipped gym to encourage service users to lead healthier lifestyles, which is an important part of the recovery process.”
The 8,000sq m adult men’s unit is arranged in a series of five ‘fingers’ which extend from the north wall/circulation spine into the garden space between the new building and the existing RSU and Wells unit.
This layout allows for a significant new area of garden space to be created between the ‘fingers’, including five ward gardens, a large central communal garden, a multi-use games area and a horticultural area. The building design also includes two roof gardens with seating areas and trees.
Mowatt said: “As part of their recovery journey, patients will be asked to participate in at least 25 hours of meaningful activity a week. To help them do this, Thames Lodge houses a community hub – the Riverside Centre, also designed by David Morley Architects. This central zone offers a range of activities which will provide people with numerous work and training opportunities, all aimed at helping them to manage their condition and return to the community.”
David Morley, partner at David Morley Architects, added: “We have been designing healthcare projects for over 25 years. With the new Medium Secure Unit at St Bernard’s Hospital we tried to maximise the access patients have to green spaces and create a therapeutic environment to help the delivery of treatment and care.”
The building includes a fully-equipped gym
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