A £52million programme will see a new 90-bed psychiatric hospital up and running on the site of a former Northampton school within two years.
St Andrew’s Healthcare, the UK’s largest mental health charity, will have the new facility operating by the end of 2014 on the Cliftonville Middle School site which closed eight years ago.
It is the central part of an overall development that will also see the former planning offices of Northampton Borough Council, Cliftonville House, transformed into an administrative headquarters for the charity while the adjacent Nene Centre will be refurbished as a training centre for staff.
The new hospital will have 400 staff working there and the project is likely to create up to 200 jobs in all areas from specialist doctors and nurses to occupational therapists and other healthcare posts.
Professor Philip Sugarman, chief executive at St Andrew’s said: “These developments will strengthen our position as the UK’s leading provider of specialist care and as the country’s only independent national teaching hospital.”
He said the new hospital would be catering for relatively low-level psychiatric patients, adding to the existing care which St Andrew’s provides across a wide spectrum, including the treatment of mental illness, autism, brain injuries and elderly care.
He said: “The work at Cliftonville is projected to be finished and ready to go by the end of 2014 by which time there will be about 3,000 people working full and part-time post at the site.”
Professor Sugarman said St Andrew’s had both the capacity and outline planning permission for a further 90-bed unit on the site which could be built at a later – as yet unspecified – date.
The earmarked Cliftonville sites have always been the logical choice for any expansion of St Andrew’s and negotiations have been ongoing for some years. As well as creating scores of local jobs, it will also help to attract some of the most highly specialised mental healthcare professionals from across the UK. Professor Sugarman said the breadth of the work done at St Andrew’s meant it was perfectly placed to provide new specialist care in areas such as treating women and young people with autism and brain injury.