World’s biggest secure mental health building for youngsters being constructed in Northampton

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A building that will be home to the world’s biggest secure service for mentally ill young people has reached a key milestone in its construction.

Nearly a year to the day after breaking ground, staff and invited guests gathered to mark the completion of the building shell of St Andrew’s Hospital’s FitzRoy House.

Staff and young patients will move into this new building when it opens in autumn 2016. It will be the largest secure service for young people with mental health needs in the world.

FitzRoy House will include areas where patients benefit from activities to help their recovery, such as horticulture and animal care.

As well as purpose-built residential facilities, it will include sports and therapy areas, a cafe and courtyards with outdoor activity spaces and landscaped gardens, and a modern new facility for St Andrew’s College, the hospital’s OFSTED ‘outstanding’ school.

The latter will include teaching rooms with better access to technology, a science demonstration room, a new library area, an outdoor education area, a bespoke music room and a recording studio.

Gil Baldwin, chief executive of St Andrew’s Healthcare, said, “We recognise that, while many young people with mental health issues are best treated closer to home or in the community, there are some with very complex needs who are best cared for by highly specialised staff in a safe and secure environment such as FitzRoy House.

“This new building will enable us to provide world-class holistic care for young people with mental illness, autism and learning disability in an environment that is tailor-made for them.”

The ‘topping out’ is a key milestone in the construction project.

At a ceremony held on the roof of the new building, chairman of St Andrew’s Healthcare Peter Winslow thanked everyone involved in this exciting project, before the first piece of stone coping was attached to the building by Mr Baldwin.

Mr Baldwin said: “I would like to thank all involved in this exciting project, who have helped us make such great progress in just one year. This includes our staff and patients, who are helping to ensure the building design and interior best supports the recovery of young people.”

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