BBH Awards - Lincoln mental health unit enhances patient care

Discovery House picks up award for Improving the Patient Experience

Discovery House is an £11.5m new-build mental health rehabilitation facility set in the grounds of St George's Hospital in Lincoln.

The winner of the award or Improving the Patient Experience , the building provides a patient-centred, therapeutically-enhanced healing environment for vulnerable people, helping to rehabilitate them back into the community after treatment.

Designed in conjunction with a multi-disciplinary project team, the aim was for a non-institutional aesthetic and uplifting interior design approach, creating a feeling of inclusiveness and helping to take away the stigma associated with mental health problems and promote positive outcomes.

This is a thoughtful, caring and versatile building design that sought to involve patients, staff and carers from the very outset

The judges said of it: “This is a thoughtful, caring and versatile building design that sought to involve patients, staff and carers from the very outset. It is a lovely concept and the patients say they really value it.”

The building form, interior spaces and therapy gardens were all developed alongside end users, with special attention paid to first impressions, personal space, anxiety suppression, safety, stimulation and refuge.

A particular challenge was to design a reception area that was going to be modern, open-plan, inviting and equipped with security that was subtle and non-threatening. The Discovery House reception breaks down these barriers, providing a light, airy, colourful facility for patients and members of the public. Patients themselves also have homely, en-suite, ligature-free bedrooms.

Discovery House is by far the best mental health inpatient facility I have ever seen and I have almost 42 years’ experience of such places

One of the service users said of the facility: “The plan was always to get right away from the concept of a ‘hospital’ and that is how it has turned out. The homely atmosphere, and the ambience of the building in general, including the high level of natural light, the décor, and the lovely courtyard and garden areas, should all help to make patients’ stays less stressful, more therapeutic and shorter in duration than would have been the case in one of the older units.

“There are many small but significant innovations in the design and, all in all, Discovery House is by far the best mental health inpatient facility I have ever seen and I have almost 42 years’ experience of such places.”

WINNER: Discovery House, Lincolnshire (Lincolnshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, Gillingdod, Costain)

Featured Companies

Gilling Dod Architects (more information, website)

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