BBH Awards - Multi-disciplinary team singled out for praise for work on mental health facility

Group behind Discovery House win Best Project Team accolade

The winner of three awards, Discovery House is an £11.5m rehabilitation mental health facility set in the grounds of St George’s Hospital in Lincoln.

The development was led by a multi-disciplinary team whose remit was to encourage user and community engagement.

The judges said: “The team behind this project was made up of many different stakeholders including the local community and social enterprise organisations, which led to a social enterprise actually running one of the businesses in the centre. It ticks all the boxes in terms of cross boundary working.”

Through a series of workshops a team charter was developed that captured a number of day-to-day values. It was also used to establish team structures, to agree roles and responsibilities, to help cut through red tape, to agree on meeting structures, and to discuss and log key risks.

This exercise also led to the creation of a list of 10 critical success factors that the team wanted to ensure the development addressed, including creating a low-carbon building and providing a patient-focused environment that supports de-stigmatising mental health.

The team behind this project was made up of many different stakeholders including the local community and social enterprise organisations, which led to a social enterprise actually running one of the businesses in the centre. It ticks all the boxes in terms of cross boundary working

Special workstream groups were then formed to deal with individual elements of the design and clinicians were drafted in, as well as a senior nursing manager to provide further advice.

Spaces such as the gymnasium, coffee bar and meeting and seminar rooms were all offered for use by the community and this engagement led to the take-over of the on-site café by a social enterprise whose members include people with mental health problems.

One service user said: “I was involved in the Discovery House project right from the very start and my views were sought at every stage and on every aspect, including interior décor and soft furnishings, beds, en-suite facilities, floor coverings, lighting, and much more. It was obvious from the outset that my views were deemed to be as valued and as valuable as those of any of the professionals around the table.”

WINNER: Discovery House, Lincoln (Lincolnshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, Gillingdod, Costain – Ann Dodd, Andrew Arnold, Kevin Miners, Alastair Smithyman, Louise Leahey, Len Hartley, Dave Shepherd)

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Gilling Dod Architects (more information, website)

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