FWP looks to deliver new NHS rehabilitation centre

Plans for a new NHS rehabilitation centre in Lancashire have been unveiled by leading architect, design and master planning practice the Frank Whittle Partnership (FWP).

FWP has been appointed by Lancashire & South Cumbria NHS Foundation Trust to deliver the redevelopment of an existing hospital building at Wesham, which has been empty for more than eight years.

A new “community facing rehabilitation service” will be based in the refurbished building which includes a modern, timber-clad extension and which will include 28 en-suite bedrooms.

There will be therapy areas and expansive gardens and outdoor therapy areas making full use of the site.

The proposals include quiet lounges and a kitchen where service users will be able to cook all their own meals with staff support.

Community space has been included within the new entrance block to encourage use of the site by local residents in partnership with the trust.

The Wesham unit, on Mowbreck Lane, will focus on helping people’s recovery from complex mental health problems.

FWP has submitted its plans for the redevelopment to Fylde Council on behalf of the trust. If planning permission is granted the new unit is scheduled to open in late 2021. The practice says the proposed new facility will be “warm and welcoming”, with a “non-clinical feel” throughout.

This is the second major refurbishment that FWP has worked on for the trust, which provides a range of mental health services for communities in Lancashire and south Cumbria.

Earlier this year FWP’s specialist mental health team completed its redesign of the ‘Skylark’ Avondale unit in Preston, which is regarded as a benchmark for other facilities within the trust.

David Simmons, associate partner and interior designer at FWP, said: “Working closely with the trust, the plans we have submitted for Wesham will create a modern, facility that is warm and welcoming for both service users and staff and has a distinct non-clinical feel to it.

“As with our previous work with the trust, our aim is to deliver something that is far removed from people’s traditional view of a hospital unit.

“At the same time, we will deliver a robust and safe environment that fully meets the needs of the new community facing rehabilitation service operating in the building and those it is looking to help and support.”

Design work has continued throughout the Covid-19 lockdown period, making use of electronic meetings with the project and clinical teams to ensure the programme was not delayed.

The project has also followed Building Information Modelling (BiM) processes to manage design and the flow of information across the design and project teams.

FWP has appointed a strong team of experienced consultants, including Cheadle Hulme-based TACE, which is providing mechanical and electrical design support.

TRP Consulting, based in Manchester and Preston, has provided civil engineering and structural design and Manchester-headquartered Urban Green has delivered ecology and external landscape designs.

FWP, which has offices in Preston, Manchester and London, has a wealth of experience in the healthcare sector.

It has a successful track record of delivering NHS projects in the North West over the last 25 years, including more recently the Life and Urgent Care centres at Chorley and South Ribble Hospital; The Minerva Centre in Preston North End’s Deepdale ground and the Oaklands Mental Health Facility in Lancaster.

FWP is a RIBA practice as well as being CHAS and ISO 9001 accredited.

It offers architecture, M&E design, structural engineering, interior design, building surveying, project management, quantity surveying and CDM consultancy services.