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Dundee mental health care facility completes

April 1 2015

Dundee mental health care facility completes
A £5m mental health care facility for children and adolescents has been handed over in Dundee by Hub East Central Scotland.

Designed by Gauldie Wright & Partners and built by BAM the facility is available to six health boards from across Tayside and the Highlands, offering single en suite accommodation and both internal and external recreation areas.

Ruth Masson of NHS Tayside, said: “This is a building of exceptional quality. The new facility has given my clinical team and wider social and support agencies a great opportunity to deliver a significant change in clinical outcomes. 

“When patients move into this facility in April, they will benefit from several well-planned aspects; the orientation of the building, overlooking scenic aspects of Tayside, arrangement of clinical spaces, a beautiful external garden and communal recreation areas and an appropriate selection of finishes, fixtures and patient art-work, will together contribute to making a positive difference to patients and staff”.
Recreational areas are provided within the build
Recreational areas are provided within the build


#1 Posted by james on 1 Apr 2015 at 15:10 PM
From GWP's website: ''Simplicity is the essence of good design. It must also satisfy the aspirations and demands of the Client, the needs of the end user ...''
Interesting to note that clients (ie them with the dosh) get to have aspirations and can even make demands - hell yeah! Whereas the end users only have 'needs'.
Says it all, really.
I know this building, this 'facility', this model, this institutional type. I haven't even visited it. I know it from the description and umpteen others just like it that I've been to. Of course, Mental Health Facilities like this are a big improvement from their Victorian predecessors and for example, the advanced intervention unit at Ninewells is wonderful at slowly turning peoples' lives round, but i just feel that the architectural/structural response is so poor and limited, that designers /lawyers /architects /clinicians /accountants have clearly never really listened to 'end-users' and how they experience being incarcerated in a place like this.
Of course, better not forget the patient artwork. They'll need it.
This is a truly dispiriting yet somehow persistent model. Maybe they want it to be institutionalised so that the patients want to get out as soon as possible.
Not good enough. And this has nothing to do with what it looks like, that's another story.
nae rolls mate
#2 Posted by nae rolls mate on 2 Apr 2015 at 10:20 AM
@james... I agree completely with what you are saying. The 'Care Model' for buildings procured, designed and built in this country is criminal. Careful with the use of the word incarcerated, unless your making the point on the overall feeling we get from this design type :)

There has to be a separate process where a building that is being designed for the purpose of care; whether it be for mental health, palliative or elderly/ nursing care. Current trends in public projects... Cost!... Value for money!... Best Price! should have no place in the discussion when laying out the brief for this type of building. I'm not calling for unlimited budgets and no control, but we should not be forced to adhere to design models & sqm. rates that would be more appropriate to mass housing or school budgets.

We surely need to readdress the balance of how we budget & cost the housing of care of societies most vulnerable. Went a bit Gandhi there folks...

On the point of the Victorian predecessors, I believe the buildings and architectural aspirations of SOME of these facilities, hold more merit in the well-being of the user. It was the attitudes and services provided inside these institutions that was a detriment to patient care.

We can only help in the progression of mental health care in this country, by not only supporting strategies, but being able to ask questions and test them with a higher quality of spaces and facility.

Something that 'Value for Money' procurement has no business in!!
#3 Posted by themadattic on 7 Apr 2015 at 08:50 AM
#1 & #2.... Some valid points there, but I would suggest that its not all doom and gloom. I fully understand the frustrations of the argument, particularly around the 'Value for Money' debate.

I cannot speak for this particular scheme as I have no understanding of the background to it, however, I would suggest that the budget is not always to blame. There are a number of other factors that could affect the outcome of a project such as bad briefing, a misguided vision, poor leadership and lack of appropriate design skills.

Having worked in this sector, I would also note that there is a great deal of good work going on in the background to improve the quality of design within the NHS. As a practice, we have been involved in a number of projects in the health sector and in recent years there has been some good work being done, particularly through organisations like A+DS to improve the quality.

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