Government gives green light for long-awaited Broadmoor revamp

Victorian buildings to be replaced to provide 21st-century care for mental health patients

The Government has given the green light for the revamp of Broadmoor Hospital

Long-awaited plans to bring Broadmoor Hospital into the 21st Century gathered pace this week with the announcement of support from the Department of Health.

The decision finally means the high-security hospital, which caters for people with serious, long-term mental health conditions, can be redeveloped, 10 years after the Victorian buildings were branded ‘not fit for purpose’ by regulators.

Under the £298m plan the buildings, which date back to 1860, will be replaced with high-quality secure accommodation, providing more modern, fit-for-purpose facilities to treat patients in a secure environment.

It is clear that the facilities at Broadmoor are no longer fit for purpose. We cannot let this hospital continue to crumble

Constructed within the hospital’s existing grounds, the building will house 16 wards and a total of 234 beds, with accommodation for 210 male patients and 24 flexible beds to be used as necessary.

Announcing the Government’s support, Care Services Minister, Paul Burstow, said: “It is clear that the facilities at Broadmoor are no longer fit for purpose. This investment is vital if we are to maintain security at the site and provide patients with treatment in the most appropriate conditions.

“The redevelopment will ensure the hospital can provide facilities where patients can be treated and recover in a safe and restricted environment. We cannot let this hospital continue to crumble.”

The renowned hospital treats people with mental illness and personality disorders who represent a high degree of risk to themselves or to others. Inmates include Yorkshire Ripper, Peter Sutcliffe; and Moors Murderer, Ian Brady.

The intention is that the revamp will be completed by the end of 2018 and following the Government’s backing, West London Mental Health NHS Trust, which runs the facility, will now begin developing its Full Business Case for submission to the strategic health authority, NHS London, in October this year.

If hospital staff are to continue caring for men with severe mental illnesses and reduce the risk they pose to themselves and the public, the trust must provide treatment in a modern, safe and secure environment which supports the outstanding clinical and therapeutic care our staff are able to offer patients today

Funded by the trust’s own budget, surplus land sales, and a financial grant from the Government, the new building will not only support the trust’s new model of care for mental health patients, but also put the hospital in line with best practice models in the world.

Steve Shrubb, chief executive of the West London Mental Health NHS Trust, said: “We’re delighted with the Department of Health’s decision and the opportunity the redevelopment presents to vastly improve high secure mental health services.

”Modernisation will make a tremendous difference to the hospital’s patients, services and quality of care, while alleviating the difficult working conditions our staff have been dealing with and have worked extremely hard to overcome.”

Nigel McCorkell, chairman, added: “The redevelopment of Broadmoor Hospital is long overdue. The buildings have seen very little change over the years, whereas psychiatric treatments have radically progressed.

“If hospital staff are to continue caring for men with severe mental illnesses and reduce the risk they pose to themselves and the public, the trust must provide treatment in a modern, safe and secure environment which supports the outstanding clinical and therapeutic care our staff are able to offer patients today.”

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